It is commonly heard that rugby is ‘a game for all shapes and sizes’. Whilst this is perhaps becoming debatable at the professional level, at the amateur level this claim still rings true. This section on positions is aimed to help new players choose a position and new coaches select a team.
2.1.1 Front Row (1-3)
The key requirements for front row players are strength and size. The core roles of the front row are to push in scrums, lift in line-outs, drive in mauls and clear out rucks. All of these roles require pure physical strength at their base. After strength, the next most important attributes for front rowers to develop are technique and aerobic endurance.
2.1.2 Second Row (4-5)
The key requirement for second row players is height. The core roles of the second row are to ‘lock’ the scrum, jump in line-outs, and secure kick-offs. In all of these roles height is a key element. After height, the next most important attributes for second rowers to develop are jumping ability and technique.
2.1.3 Back Row (6-8)
The key requirement for back row players is aerobic endurance. The core role of back rowers is to act as a link between the forward pack and the backline. To do this effectively they need to be the fittest players on the field. After height, the next most important attributes for back rowers to develop are tackling skills and handling skills.
2.1.4 Inside Backs (9-10)
The key requirement for inside backs is decision-making. The core role of inside backs is to act as the team decision-makers – deciding whether to kick, hit the ball up close or send it wide. To act effectively they need to have a sound knowledge of the game and the ability to make decisions under pressure. After decision-making, the next most important attributes for inside backs to develop are kicking skills and handling skills.
2.1.5 Centers (12-13)
The key requirement for centers is handling skills. The core role of centers is to try and create space for the outside backs. To act effectively they need to have good handling skills – the ability to receive the ball under pressure and then time correctly when to distribute it on. After handling skills, the next most important attributes for centers to develop are decision-making skills and tackling skills.
2.1.6 Outside Backs (11,14,15)
The key requirement for outside backs is speed. The core role of inside backs is to make the most of chances which have been created for them. To act effectively they need to have the speed to finish opportunities. After speed, the next most important attributes for outside backs to develop are handling skills and tackling skills.