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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

Introduction to player profiling


We have previously described the demands of the sevens game for both men and women. We noted that conditioning for the game should take into account the increased overall running demands, which reflect high-intensity running training and an emphasis on reduced work-to-rest ratios. Further, the relative high engagement in longer sprinting at maximal efforts is an important component of fitness to develop. The requirement for both long and short sprinting traits for the game suggests that the faster player may have a distinct advantage in this sport.

While a number of studies have described the physical traits of the Rugby 15-a-side player, information on the physical profile of the seven’s player is less available. Here we aim to provide a physical and performance profile of the sevens player and compare this profile to that of the 15-a-side player. However, one of the practical difficulties that exist in comparing physical traits from one study to another is that different tests, instruments and protocols for assessing physical and physiological traits are used. This prevents accurate and precise comparisons as errors and differences in the way in which tests are conducted will likely impact on the results. Nevertheless, we will seek to compare like with like where possible, yet reminding the S&C coach that our comparison is often limited by our aforementioned drawbacks.


The module aims to describe the physical and physiological profile of players in the sevens and 15-a-side game.


The S&C coach will be able to describe the different physical and physiological profiles of players participating in the sevens and 15-a-side game.

The S&C coach will be able to devise training related strategies to advance the physical characteristics of players partaking in sevens and 15-a-side Rugby Union matchplay.

Key terms

Maximum oxygen uptake:

This is the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can consume during strenuous continuous exercise. Typically, top class middle distance track and field athletes and endurance athletes have high absolute and relative maximum oxygen uptakes. Often this measurement is taken as representative of endurance or aerobic fitness and is abbreviated to ml/kg/min representing millilitres per kilogramme of body weight.

Energy systems:

The three energy systems are the alactic, anaerobic and aerobic systems. The first two are the main energy systems taxed during intermittent activity sports such as Rugby Union. The aerobic system is important in the recovery process.