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

The demands of the game


There is an obvious trend within the time-motion studies completed to indicate that the game is certainly a multi-activity sport with periods of high intensity play punctuated by varying durations of rest intervals. From the studies discussed in this module, it is clear that the higher the level of play, the greater the frequency and total duration of high intensity work.

Time motion analysis informs us that all Rugby players will require highly developed levels of what we may call multi-component fitness. Acceleration training is a clear requirement, as is deceleration training. While time-motion studies have not focused on the agility demands of the game, it is clear that agility is an important component for all players. Strength and power training are also requirements for all players. The ability to reproduce high intensity bouts of activity with varying degrees of rest recovery between bouts is also a requirement.

While position specific differences exist, the implications for us as Strength and Conditioning coaches are clear. Strength and power training (both general development and specific activity development), and speed acceleration training (which includes acceleration, deceleration and agility patterns) are central to the most demanding work efforts that we see during match play. Hidden within these physical activities is the player’s efficiency in terms of expressing strength, power and speed repeatedly. Match play involves varying work to rest ratios and a player’s ability to tolerate repeated high intensity bouts of activity for the duration of the game will also be dependent on their ability to recover between high intensity bouts.

Specific integrated conditioning is important here as it can be organised to mimic more closely the different work to rest ratios that occur in the game.

Finally, in our next module, we will address the component of speed and multi sprint/activity endurance as well as conditioned games. Following this and later in the course, we will address the practice of Periodisation which helps us in our planning of the different methods of conditioning within the context of the total programme of work.

Let us now describe the key principles of training which will help us organise the various components of fitness that are required to play the game.