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LTAD - a critique
Demands of the game
Profile of players
Functional screening
Resistance training
Speed and agility training
Integrated game conditioning

Profiling the players

Speed performance

Players were assessed in acceleration and speed over 40m. The players were required to complete a 40m sprint with split distances of 10, 20, and 30m indoors on a synthetic running track. An estimate of maximum velocity was obtained by subtracting the 30m split time from the 40m time and converting time to velocity (m/s). Momentum (kg/metre/second) over the last 10m of the sprint was calculated as the product of vmax and the player’s body mass (kg). The authors noted that Rugby sevens players in their study had similar sprint times over 10 and 20m and approximately 2% (0.07–0.12 s) faster times over 40m compared to previous reports of elite 15-a-side Rugby Union players.

They comment that Rugby sevens players were approximately 6% to 8% faster than elite forwards up to 20m but only approximately 2% faster than elite backs for 20 and 30m sprints.

Over 30 to 40m, 15-a-side forwards reached a maximum velocity of 8.4 ± 0.4 m/s, and backs, 9.2± 0.3 m/s, which is comparable to the 9.2 ± 0.4 m/s attained by players in the sevens study. The peak velocity achieved by players they note, during international Rugby sevens tournaments (8.5 ± 1.1 m/s) is in excess of 90% of the maximum velocity measured in the straight 40m sprint.

In summary, the authors note that in comparison with published data, the international level Rugby sevens players possess acceleration qualities similar to or exceeding those of elite Rugby Union players and maximum velocity values comparable to those of professional 15-a-side backs.