The ruck or breakdown is a passage of play. A ruck is formed when at least one player from either side are in contact, on their feet and over the ball, positioned on the ground. The offside line is determined by the hindmost point of the last player in the ruck. We give you our advice.


At least three players are required for a ruck to be formed: the tackled player, the tackler and a third player (attacker or defender). If the third player is a defender they can win the ball but they must stay on their feet to do so. If there are more than three players in the ruck, the defender must push themselves into position over the ball if they are to win possession of it.

Christophe Raluy, the coach of Olympique Marcquois Rugby, which plays in France's fourth tier, talks to us about the ruck and passes on his advice.


A ruck involves various phases, the first of which is the work carried out by the ball carrier. This is crucial when it comes to positioning the ball properly. 

“The first key stage involves the ball carrier, who, once they hit the ground, must continue to play an active role and work hard to get into a position to present the ball as far away as possible from the defence.”


After the work carried out by the ball carrier, the first support player has to get into the right position to secure the ball. 

“The first support player has to place themselves over the ball to secure it and prevent opposing players from driving them out of the way. They have to be proactive and take their centre of gravity down, and drive forward bit by bit, a little bit like an aircraft that's going to take off.”

That's all Christophe's advice for rucking effectively. It's time for you to get out there and play!