Do Not Sell My Personal Information
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Thursday Oct 15, 2015

Rugby Tactics: The Sexton Loop

Rugby Tactics: The Sexton Loop

After Jonny Sexton’s groin injury on Sunday, it’s unclear whether or not he’ll be fit for Ireland’s quarterfinal clash with Argentina. Regardless, we hope to see the Irish back-line firing on all cylinders and using this highly effective tactic.

We think adding a bit of Sexton magic to your back-line can do wonders for your attack, but it’s important to bear in mind a few crucial points if you do:

1) Context Matters

The Sexton Loop isn’t typically used on first phase or as a set-piece move. Instead, Sexton likes to send a big ball carrier like Cian Healey (see 1:48 in the video) into the midfield and then get quick ball and shift the attack out wide.

2) Variations

When you see example after example of Sexton on the loop, you may think this maneuver is predictable. Ireland counteract this with slight variations to the move.

For example, as you can see in our video, the #13 (Jared Payne in the warm-up matches) can run a hard line off the #12 and serve as a decoy runner while the #12 hits Sexton on the loop who then typically hits the fullback.

Alternatively, Sexton can take the wraparound ball with no decoy runner but make a decoy runner out of a forward who is ranging out wide like Rory Best or Sean O’Brien.

3) Shapes Not Moves

Last point. These are attacking “shapes” not set-piece moves. If you first focus on getting your players to understand how to create space for each other by being convincing decoy runners at the right time, then integrating that into a broader attacking strategy, like we see here, can happen much more easily.



Would you like more updates on trends in modern rugby?


  • themull
    9:53 PM 15/10/2015 If you watch the video above from about 24:45 you will see beautifully how Sexton looping around can actually be used as the decoy runner to set up inside balls to the guys running straight lines...

  • rugbydump
    7:29 PM 15/10/2015

    Yes unfortunately if there is any RWC footage included, it gets blocked automatically. Using a good proxy/VPN should do the trick.

  • tphillipsstl
    2:45 PM 15/10/2015

    about 90% of the videos posted since the RWC began are not visible in US. For the ones posted by RWC you can find alternatives on their website. But the ones posted by Rugby Dump...c'mon guys! Let's get that fixed.


Great Tries

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

View All

See It To Believe It

View All


View All


View All

Player Features

View All
Rugby Tactics: The Sexton Loop | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos