1. The amount of phases required to bring your wide-pods into play.
Watch your game film, count phases and pod involvements.
Most teams need +-5phases to bring a wide-pod back into play.
Average phases at amateur level before turnover? Less than 5.
2. The amount, and width, of passes required to bring your wide-pods into play.
Watch your game film, count the number of passes made per phase.
Most teams average 2 or less passes per phase (including the scrumhalf’s initial pass).
With regards to width of pass, if your wide-pods are in the 15m tram-lines, then the ball has to go 20 to 30 meters to get to them.
Watch your game film, notice how wide each phase gets outside of the defense before contact.
Most teams average no more than 5meters per pass, plus maybe another 5meters of sideways running drift.
3. The attacking skills required to make the wide pods an asset to an overlap.
The amount of times our guys have stopped a certain 3v2 or 2v1 on the outside because the wide forward decided to bash our winger rather than fix and pass? 90% of the time, every time.
So what do we do instead?
We want to involve all 8 forwards within 3 phases, every 3 phases.
Instead of thinking in “forward pods”, we think in “playmaker options”.
The Forwards only have 4 places to be:
2 forwards in the current ruck (there must be a Cleaner and a Sealer at every ruck)
2 forwards set up to run options off of 9
2 forwards set up to run options off of 10
And lastly, 2 forwards getting up from the previous ruck and moving to the inside-ball slots of the 9 & 10, and then to whichever slot will be empty for the next phase.
The backs are responsible for cleaning their own ruck when they go wide.
This simplifies life for our forwards & increases work rate due to ease of reloading.
This 3 phase system for organizing the forwards is the base of the Tight, Flat, Wide attacking platform.