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LTPD Pathway
Functional Screening
Anatomical Adaptation
Game Demands
Conditioning for Rugby
Periodisation in Rugby

The demands of the game

Implications for conditioning players

While work to rest ratios represent the averages found in the studies noted above, players will be required to work for longer and rest for shorter periods as well. Thus, a variety of work to rest ratios should be considered in the conditioning and preparation of Rugby players.

The total distance covered by a player from a given position is composed of different speeds of locomotion. Outside backs will cover a greater total distance in sprint mode and their training distance may be longer compared to forwards and inside backs. Consequently, all players will require coaching and training in acceleration and deceleration.

The studies completed to date also identify position-specific demands with front row forwards being involved in more frequent physical contact activities than outside backs. Further, speed training over distances greater than 30 metres may be a more appropriate training activity for the outside backs compared to players in the front row position.

While forwards are engaged in intense physical activities (rucking, mauling, scrummaging and tackling) more frequently than backs, backs are still involved in intense physical challenges. General total body strength and power for exerting force provide a basis for the more specific activities of gripping, pushing, pulling and other forms of opponent contact. More specific conditioning methods that involve grappling, wrestling and tackling are also important and should be part of the conditioning programme. Further, dynamic mobility and agility is also an important component for developing during the integrated conditioning process. Such activities include players returning or recovering from a ground position to a playing position, changing direction and speed of movement during evasion drills and conditioned games.