Small Blacks Warm Ups

NZ Rugby has developed a warm up for Small Blacks rugby players and this new approach will gamify, randomise and make the activities fun.

The competition will bring up the intensity; kids will make decisions under pressure and want to warm up more!  

Coaches will be able to pick from the 40+ activities and have their team warmed up in just 16 minutes.

Endorsed by New Zealand Rugby, this programme has been developed for all rugby players at all levels aged 13+, and it is split into two parts. It can be done before training and on game day. 

  1. Training programme session – at least twice a week and can be done as part of your rugby training.
  2. Gameday programme session – once a week before your game.
This programme covers:
  • Core training
  • Muscular control and balance
  • Plyometrics and agility
  • Techniques

There are different levels to match your level of fitness.

Getting Started

The programme is split into three parts of 15 exercises in total. For each training session, complete all three parts, but on game day only complete parts one and three.

Exercises should be completed in order and don’t skip any! It should take around 15 minutes to complete all 15 exercises, though it might take a little bit longer to begin with until you get to know the exercises.


Set up

Set up a course (approx. 30m in length) of six pairs of parallel cones, approximately 5-6 metres apart. Split the group into two, with two players starting at the first pair of cones and working their way along the cones performing the various exercises. After the last cone run back along the outside of the cones and repeat with the following exercise.



There are three different levels of increasing difficulty. You should start at level one beginner and only move onto the next level when you have correctly and comfortably performed the exercise in several successive trainings, with accurate form and technique.

"Choose the training or game day session and correct level, then let’s go!"



Rugby is a game of basic skills. Even at the highest levels, it's about doing simple things well. To get the most out of the game, we have asked the experts for advice on some key areas. Here are some training programmes for the scrum, tackle techniques and neck strengthening. Give it a go. 

The Scrum

Having a good scrum is about players instinctively knowing what to do. Good technique is the key and will also keep players safe. Here are some tips and training ideas from New Zealand Rugby experts for both players and coaches.

Neck Strengthening

It is important for all players to have sufficient strength and coordination in the muscles around the neck.  This will help with scrummaging, rucks, and tackling and help reduce injuries.

There are some simple exercises that coaches and players can do that can easily be incorporated into training.   Players can start these as part of their pre-season work and coaches can incorporate in to their training programmes.

Check out All Black rugby coach, Mike Cron, as he demonstrates exercises and techniques that will strengthen your neck.  

Tackle Technique

Tackling is one of the most important skills when it comes to rugby. Watch All Blacks forwards coach, Mike Cron’s top tips and techniques for coaches and players.

Nutrition And Hydration

Eating and drinking the right things at the right time (most of the time) will lead to big changes in performance. Here are a few guidelines that may help you. 

What Are Sonny Bill Williams' Top Tips?

Want to learn more?  Check out this video which has some top nutrition and hydration tips from Sonny.