Diamond Running is the term used for a support system of running where a ball carrier is supported by a player slightly behind to his right, slightly behind to his left and a player sitting deeper directly behind him. This looks like a diamond.
While in this system the ball carrier has many options, he can pass right or left, near or far. He can run knowing he has support close by and if contact is taking there are enough players close by to ruck or maul successfully.
The major benefit from utilising diamond running is the ability to promote continuity in the game; that is keeping the ball alive and fluent in play.
Diamond Running Drill
Balls, cones, bibs & players
With marker cones set up a channel 10 to metres wide by 24 metres long
Put 4 defenders with bibs on in the channel, 1 behind each other around 6 metres apart
Attackers start at one in end; in groups of 4 with a ball for each group.
The ball carrier attacks the first defender and looks to beat defender with offload or committing him.
Support players ensure that ball carrier always ahs options left and right.
His carries on through all four defenders so the group has turns at each position and has to practice re-aligning.
This can be repeated a few times, make sure you regularly switch defenders.
The drill should start as a touch drill until the players have gained success then it can be progressed through different stages of contact.
The major issue you will find is players following the ball, at times all 3 support players will be to the right of the ball carrier, be patient, with practice the principal of diamond running will come to your players. What the drill is trying to do is to get your players to look up, read the game and anticipate where the ball or space may be and in addition value the importance of running off the ball.
Move defender, create space
Sympathy & good technique in the pass
Support Options left & right at all times
Running off the ball