Dive pass

The dive pass is from the good old days of rugby. Still valuable. Good when the ball is on the ground and a long clearing pass is required.


Build good rugby skills from the ground up.

A good pass is easier when you have good rugby handling

and know the basics of rugby passing.

An old style still valuable

A ground pass is usually used by the scrum-half when the ball is controlled and still within the feet at the base of the scrum or at the back of a ruck.

Before the ground pass became popular (existed?) the scrum-half passed with a dive to get the ball to the fly-half.

Dive pass of a rugby ball starting position Dive pass, start

It is still valuable in general play when you find the ball at your feet during the game and a long pass is needed to get the ball to distant support players.

Note - you have to move the ball immediately or you may be tackled as soon as you touch the ball.

This is different from the ground pass from the back of a scrum or ruck where you are protected until you move the ball out from behind the feet of the scrummaging or rucking players.

How to make a dive pass

Dive pass of a rugby ball showing the middle phase Middle phase

As shown above you use both hands.

Lifting the ball from the ground you start turning towards your target.

At the same time start a diving motion in the same direction.

Dive pass of a rugby ball finish position Dive pass, finish

As your dive progresses you whip your arms from under your body and fling the ball towards your target.

The photo caption says "finish position" but of course, there`s more.

You have to land!

To cushion the blow extend your arms towards the ground and break the fall as best you can.

I know why the ground pass became more popular!

But why do so many players throw in a dive when scoring a try? Yes it looks good but you do risk injury and you do risk messing up a scoring opportunity.

Just put the ball down, remember it`s for the team!

You may apply spin if you feel you are not doing enough already!

Dive pass memories

This brings back memories of playing for Old Leos 2nd XV against Gateshead.

The ground was frozen.

But had obviously not been frozen the last time the pitch was played on because all the deep muddy boot prints with sharp and jagged edges were frozen into the ground.

It was like a cheese grater.

Playing scrum-half and using the dive pass to get the ball away, I was the cheese!

Ohhh the pain and suffering.

Dive pass summary

  • medium passes or long passes
  • more suitable for agile players

  • dive and whipping of arms
  • focus on guiding the ball to a position where they can reach out for it

  • fully extend arms and fingers for accuracy
  • get the landing right or suffer

  • avoid frozen pitches :)

Remember all the other passing possibilities. Make sure you are able to do them all instinctively.