Nowadays when looking to play overseas most clubs will ask to look at some footage of you playing. The best way to do this is to create a highlights video showcasing the best of your abilities. Creating a good rugby highlights video will help you stand out to potential clubs and put you in a better negotiating position to any packages that may be on offer. Whatever the result, it’s a pretty cool thing to have and to post on your social media accounts.
The best rugby highlights videos are short and sweet. Try to make your video between 3-5 minutes. Decide in what order you want your footage, it’s important that your video isn’t just lots of random clips.
If you’re ahead of the game you might have been saving your videos from the season as you go. But if you’re like me you may have to get hold of all the games from the season. Go back through and pick out the bits that show off the best parts of your game. It’s better to have more clips than you need rather than not enough as you can always cut some out later in the process.
Making a rugby highlight video is actually a really fun process. Going back through all the games of the season and remembering moments you had forgotten brings back great memories.
Which Video Editing Software to Use
Below I will let you know about the video editing programmes I have personally used but there are plenty more out there aside from these.
For Apple users, iMovie, is a free application and gets the job done. This software was designed with the average technology user in mind, and therefore is very straightforward and easy to use.
Splice is a great app that is simple and easy to use. Make the most of the 7 day free trial that they offer before they start charging you. A week should be plenty of time to put together your rugby highlights video..
If your club/school/university use Hudl and you have access to the videos on there, they have an easy to use highlights creator built in to the software.
What to Include in Your Rugby Highlights Video
For most coaches the first thing they look for in a rugby highlights video of a player is their attacking ability. This provides them with a sense of your athleticism and what level of rugby player you are. I notice that a lot of players make the easy mistake of just including tries and big runs. These are obviously an important part of any rugby highlights reel but they do not offer a well rounded overview of your abilities. Remember at the end of the day, you’re trying to show yourself in the best way possible.
Some things I would advise to include in the attack section are:
- Offloads: This shows your ability to control the ball into contact. An extremely valuable skill for opening up defences and creating space.
- Variation of passing: Include various examples of your ability to alter the type of pass to the required situation. This is a good indication to coaches of your overall skill level.
- Foot work: Show when you have used footwork that results in a positive outcome. Just because you didn’t score doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful piece of skill. You could have put the defense under pressure or forced an attacking overload.
- Line breaks: Just like footwork, even if you did not score, it shows your ability to identify space.
- Support lines: Demonstrating that you are able to successfully track your teammates running lines and provide either support at the next ruck or keep play alive with offload support displays your game awareness.
Now that you’ve displayed your power on one side of the ball, now you have a chance to display your defensive skills.
In the defense section it’s important to include:
- What you do post tackle: Showing yourself making a dominant tackle is key. What comes after the tackle is as, if not more important. Make sure to show your effort on the floor to roll away. Even better show you getting to your feet and being a disruption to the ruck or stealing the ball.
- Counter rucking: Demonstrate the strength you have off the ball. It lets the viewer know that you can identify the potential to turn the ball over.
- Key actions in a turnover: Demonstrate your knowledge of the game’s laws by including times where you clear out a ruck or hold up a player and turn the ball over.
Finally you should highlight your position specific skills. This selection of clips should demonstrate your ability to use position specific skills confidently and with positive outcomes. Unless the skills major aspect is consistency, like kicking or lineout throws then don’t use too many clips of that one skill. Find below my position specific skills to include in your highlights reel:
Tight/Loose head prop (1&3)
- Scrummaging (own ball/against the head)
- Lifting in the lineout
- Impact on driving maul
- Close to ruck defence
- Lineout throws (variation in length)
- Controlling the ball at the back of a maul
- Successful strikes at the ball in a scrum
- Scrums hooked against the head
Second Row (4&5)
- Ability in the air (particularly lineouts)
- Clearing out rucks
- Speed from scrum to rucks
Back row (6,7,8)
- Speed from scrum to tackle/ruck
- Any positive impacts in lineout
- Turnovers at the breakdown
- Carries from back of scrum
- Defensive pressure from set piece
Demonstrate prowess when carrying into contact, the repeated ability to carry the ball over the gain line for your team.
Scrum half (9)
- Passing from scrums/rucks/lineouts
- Sniping runs
- Confidence to direct forwards during phase play
- Tracking of line breaks and tactical kicks
- Sweeping behind the defensive line
- Box kicking
- Ability to take and create space
- Ability to manage a team in attack, direction of phase play
- Kicking (goal, tactical, defensive)
- Range of passing
- Defensive capabilities
Centres (12 &13)
- Ability to take and create space
- Ability to put supporting players into space
- Open play tackles and defensive coordination
- Kick chase
Back 3 (11,14,15)
- Catching high ball
- Footwork and ability to finish
- Clearance Kicks
- Kick chase
- 1 v 1 tackles
- Long passing
- Counter attack/Identifying space
- Defensive Positioning
What not to include!
Most of these points are pretty obvious but I thought best to get them down in writing as a bad highlight can hinder your recruitment process, especially for the top level clubs.
Don’t order your clips chronologically – you might think it makes sense to make a highlights video early in the season, then simply add more and more plays as the year progresses. Start with your best set of clips and then decide on a categorical order. Remember, if your first 30 seconds are average they may not watch the rest!
Poor quality footage – As much as you possibly can, include footage that is of a good quality and clearly shows you producing the skill it is intended to show.
Repeated clips – No matter how good the piece of skill, coaches want to see variety in your play.
Don’t upset the flow – it’s annoying to watch a clip that keeps stopping and starting. Once you have highlighted yourself at the beginning of the clip, just let the play run through. The more fluid your video, the better it will look.
Don’t hinder yourself with music – by all means have a backing track to your video but bare in mind who it’s going to and what the song is. For example, a song with lots of swearing in it might not go down so well.
Clips giving away penalties – Although you might think your cheap shot makes you look big and dominant. All it shows to coaches is a lack of discipline, something they don’t want in their squad.
Once you’ve finished your video, show it to your current coaches and team mates. Ask for some feedback and make any changes that you need.
You’re then ready to show off your skills to prospective clubs. If you haven’t found any clubs yet check out some of the other pages on the site to help you out.