year 6, Issue 2 (Summer 2018)                   Ann Appl Sport Sci 2018, 6(2): 1-13 | Back to browse issues page

XML Print

Download citation:
BibTeX | RIS | EndNote | Medlars | ProCite | Reference Manager | RefWorks
Send citation to:

Stoop R, Hohenauer E, ML Rucker A, Clijsen R. Anthropometric Properties versus Physical Performance in Rugby ::union:: Forwards and Backs - A Systematic Review. Ann Appl Sport Sci. 2018; 6 (2) :1-13
1- Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care, Rehabilitation Research Laboratory, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Landquart, Switzerland ,
2- Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care, Rehabilitation Research Laboratory, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Landquart, Switzerland. THIM University of Applied Sciences, Landquart, Switzerland. Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
3- Department of Physiotherapy, Döpfer-Schulen, Regensburg, Germany
Abstract:   (4422 Views)
Background. Rugby ::::::union:::::: is a team sport with a high amount of physical contact during match play. The physical performance and anthropometric characteristics required, differ based on the playing position.
Objectives. The objective of this systematic review was to relate anthropometric properties with physical performance parameters in Rugby ::::::union:::::: backs and forwards across different playing levels of Tier 1 nations.
Methods. Two
electronic searches were performed in MEDLINE on the PubMed and on BISp (German Federal Sports Science Institute) databases from August 2016 to July 2017. All experimental study types in English and German were assessed for eligibility. Inclusion criteria were 15-a-side senior male backs and forwards, with anthropometric and/or physical performance data.
In n = 7 studies out of 12 selected, the elite forwards were significantly taller than the elite backs (p < 0.05). This accounted not for lower playing levels. Across all levels the forwards were significantly heavier than the backs. Significantly lower body fat percentages for the backs demonstrated n = 5 out of 6 studies. Consequently, backs were more ectomorphic than forwards. Backs reached significantly lower sprint velocities over short distances and higher ones over longer distances (10 to 40 m).
Conclusion. Anthropometric parameters adapt to physical performance requested. In strength and endurance test situations heavier players may be underestimated postulating careful interpretation of those results to avoid misleading conclusion.
Full-Text [PDF 1060 kb]   (1953 Downloads)    
• Regarding anthropometric properties, Rugby ::::::union:::::: forwards are significantly taller than backs at the elite level. The lower the classification level, the smaller the height difference between forwards and backs.
• Across all levels, the forwards are significantly heavier than the backs reflecting the demands of each playing position.
• As the level increases, so does the speed of the backs in sprints.
• Regardless of playing level, the backs performed significantly better in sprints and attained higher jump values than the forwards.
• In contrast, forwards achieved higher 1RM results in lower and upper body strength assessments.

Type of Study: Review Article | Subject: Sport Physiology and its related branches
Received: 2018/02/20 | Accepted: 2018/05/6 | Published: 2018/08/18 | ePublished: 2018/08/18

1. Nicholas CW. Anthropometric and Physiological Characteristics of Rugby :::union::: Football Players. Sport Med. 1997;23(6):375–96. [DOI:10.2165/00007256-199723060-00004]
2. Quarrie KL, Handcock P, Toomey MJ, Waller AE. The New Zealand rugby injury and performance pro ject . IV . Anthropometric and physical performance comparisons between positional categories of senior A rugby players. Br J Sports Med. 1996;30:53–6. [DOI:10.1136/bjsm.30.1.53] [PMID] [PMCID]
3. Cunniffe B, Proctor W, Baker JS, Davies B. An Evaluation of the Physiological Demands of Elite Rugby :::union::: using Global Positioning System Tracking Software. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(4):1195–203. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181a3928b] [PMID]
4. van Rooyen M, Rock K, Prim SK, Lambert MI. The quantification of contacts with impact during professional rugby matches. Int J Perform Anal Sport [Internet]. 2008;8(1):113–26. Available from: papers://cdf6ea96-27e8-40e2-a222-a38262792b20/Paper/p312%5Cn
5. Hohenauer E, Rucker AM, Clarys P, Küng U, Stoop R, Clijsen R. Anthropometric and performance characteristics of the German rugy :::union::: 7s team.
6. Vaz L, Morais T, Rocha H, James N. Fitness profiles of elite portuguese rugby :::union::: players. J Hum Kinet. 2014;41(June):235–44. [DOI:10.2478/hukin-2014-0051]
7. Owen SM, Venter RE, du Toit S, Kraak WJ. Acceleratory match-play demands of a Super Rugby team over a competitive season. J Sports Sci. 2015;414(July):1–9. [DOI:10.1080/02640414.2015.1028086]
8. Quarrie KL, Hopkins WG. Changes in player characteristics and match activities in Bledisloe Cup rugby :::union::: from 1972 to 2004. J Sport Sci. 2007;25(8):895–903. [DOI:10.1080/02640410600944659] [PMID]
9. Sedeaud A, Marc A, Schipman J, Taffl M, Hager J, Toussaint J. How they won Rugby World Cup through height , mass and collective experience. Br J Sports Med. 2012;46:580–4. [DOI:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090506] [PMID]
10. Sedeaud A, Vidalin H, Tafflet M, Marc A, Toussaint J-F. Rugby morphologies: "bigger and taller", reflects an early directional selection. J Sport Med Phys Fit. 2013;53(November 2016):185–91.
11. Lombard WP, Durandt JJ, Masimla H, Green M, Lambert MI. Changes in Body Size and Physical Characteristics of South African Under-20 Rugby :::union::: Players Over a 13-Year Period. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(4):980–8. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000724] [PMID]
12. Olds T. The evolution of physique in male rugby :::union::: players in the twentieth century. J Sports Sci. 2001;19(4):253–62. [DOI:10.1080/026404101750158312] [PMID]
13. Smart D, Hopkins WG, Quarrie KL, Gill N. The relationship between physical fitness and game behaviours in rugby :::union::: players. Eur J Sport Sci. Taylor & Francis; 2011;14(December):1–10.
14. Quarrie KL, Wilson BD. Force production in the rugby :::union::: scrum. J Sports Sci. 2000;18(January 2015):237–46.
15. Fontana FY, Colosio AL, Da Lozzo G, Pogliaghi S. Player's success prediction in rugby :::union:::: From youth performance to senior level placing. J Sci Med Sport. Sports Medicine Australia; 2016;
16. Fontana FY, Colosio A, Roia GF De, Lozzo G Da, Pogliaghi S. Anthropometrics of Italian Senior Male Rugby :::union::: Players : From Elite to Second Division. Interational J Sport Physiol Perform. 2015;10:674–80. [DOI:10.1123/ijspp.2015-0014] [PMID]
17. Liberati A, Altman DG, Tetzlaff J, Mulrow C, Gøtzsche PC, Ioannidis JPA, et al. The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: explanation and elaboration. J Clin Epidemiol. 2009;62(10):e1-34. [DOI:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2009.06.006] [PMID]
18. Bell W. Body composition of rugby :::union::: football players. Br J Sports Med. 1979;13(1):19–23. [DOI:10.1136/bjsm.13.1.19] [PMID] [PMCID]
19. Zemski AJ, Slater GJ, Broad EM. Body composition characteristics of elite Australian rugby :::union::: athletes according to playing position and ethnicity. J Sports Sci. 2015;33(9):970–8. [DOI:10.1080/02640414.2014.977937] [PMID]
20. Bell W, Evans WD, Cobner DM, Eston RG. Regional placement of bone mineral mass, fat mass, and lean soft tissue mass in young adult rugby :::union::: players. Ergonomics. 2005;48(11–14):1462–72. [DOI:10.1080/00140130500101007] [PMID]
21. Lacome M, Piscione J, Hager J-P, Bourdin M. A new approach to quantifying physical demand in rugby :::union:::. J Sports Sci. 2014;32(3):290–300. [DOI:10.1080/02640414.2013.823225] [PMID]
22. Crewther BT, Gill N, Weatherby RP, Lowe T. A comparison of ratio and allometric scaling methods for normalizing power and strength in elite rugby :::union::: players. J Sports Sci. 2009;27(14):1575–80. [DOI:10.1080/02640410903348657] [PMID]
23. Scott AC, Roe N, Coats AJS, Piepoli MF. A erobic exercise physiology in a professional rugby :::union::: team. Int J Cardiol. 2003;87(2):173–7. [DOI:10.1016/S0167-5273(02)00211-5]
24. Roberts SP, Trewartha G, Higgitt RJ, El-Abd J, Stokes KA. The physical demands of elite English rugby :::union:::. J Sports Sci. 2008;26(8):825–33. [DOI:10.1080/02640410801942122] [PMID]
25. McLaren SJ, Weston M, Smith A, Cramb R, Portas MD. Variability of physical performance and player match loads in professional rugby :::union:::. J Sci Med Sport. 2016;19(6):493–7. [DOI:10.1016/j.jsams.2015.05.010] [PMID]
26. Deutsch MU, Kearney GA, Rehrer NJ. Time–motion analysis of professional rugby :::union::: players during match-play. J Sports Sci. 2007;25(4):461–72. [DOI:10.1080/02640410600631298] [PMID]
27. Jarvis S, Sullivan LEEO, Davies B. Interrelationships between measured running intensities and agility performance in subelite rugby :::union::: players. Res Sport Med. 2009;17(July):217–30. [DOI:10.1080/15438620903323892] [PMID]
28. Quarrie KL, Handcock P, Wallert AE, Chalmers DJ, Toomeyl MJ, Wilsont BD. The new zealand rugby injury and performance project. III. Anthropometric and physical performance charcteristics of players. Br J Sports Med. 1995;29(4):263–70. [DOI:10.1136/bjsm.29.4.263] [PMID] [PMCID]
29. Darrall-Jones JD, Jones B, Till K. Anthropometric, Sprint, and High-Intensity Running Profiles of English Academy Rugby :::union::: Players by Position. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;30(5):1348–58. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001234] [PMID]
30. Crewther BT, Lowe T, Weatherby RP, Gill N, Keogh J. Neuromuscular performance of elite rugby :::union::: players and relationship with salivary hormones. J Strength Cond Res. 2009;23(7):2046–53. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181b73c19] [PMID]
31. Crewther BT, Kilduff LP, Cook CJ, Cunningham DJ, Bunce PJ, Bracken RM, et al. Scaling strength and power for body mass differences in rugby :::union::: players. J Sport Med Phys Fit. 2012;52:27–32. [PMID]
32. Darrall-Jones JD, Jones B, Till K. Anthropometric and physical profiles of english academy rugby :::union::: players. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(8):2086–96. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000872] [PMID]
33. Brown SR, Brughelli M, Griffiths PC, Cronin JB. Lower-Extremity Isokinetic Strength Profiling in Professional Rugby League: Discovery Service. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014;(9):358–61. [DOI:10.1123/ijspp.2013-0129] [PMID]
34. Bradley WJ, Cavanagh BP, Douglas W, Donovan TF, Morton JP, Close GL. Quantification of training load, energy intake, and physiological adaptations during a rugby preseason: a case study from a elite eurpoean rugby :::union::: squat. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29(2):534–44. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000631] [PMID]
35. Cross MR, Brughelli M, Brown SR, Samozino P, Gill ND, Cronin JB, et al. Mechanical Properties of Sprinting in Elite Rugby :::union::: and Rugby League. Interational J Sport Physiol Perform. 2015;10:695–702. [DOI:10.1123/ijspp.2014-0151] [PMID]
36. Holway FE, Garavaglia R. Kinanthropometry of Group I rugby players in Buenos Aires, Argentina. J Sports Sci. 2009;27(September):1211–20. [DOI:10.1080/02640410903207408] [PMID]
37. Swaby R, Jones PA, Comfort P. Relationship between Maximum Aerobic Speed Performance and Distance Covered in Rugby :::union::: Games. J Strength Cond Res. 2016;1–16. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001375]
38. Cahill N, Lamb K, Worsfold P, Headey R, Murray S. The movement characteristics of English Premiership rugby :::union::: players. J Sports Sci. 2013;31(3):1–9. [DOI:10.1080/02640414.2012.727456] [PMID]
39. Roberts SP, Stokes KA, Weston L, Trewartha G. The Bath University Rugby Shuttle Test (BURST): A pilot study. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2010;5(1):64–74. [DOI:10.1123/ijspp.5.1.64] [PMID]
40. Jones MR, West DJ, Harrington BJ, Cook CJ, Bracken RM, Shearer DA, et al. Match play performance characteristics that predict post-match creatine kinase responses in professional rugby :::union::: players. BMC Sport Sci Med Rehabil. 2014;6(38):1–7. [DOI:10.1186/2052-1847-6-38]
41. Reardon C, Tobin DP, Delahunt E. Application of individualized speed thresholds to interpret position specific running demands in elite professional rugby :::union:::: A GPS Study. PLoS One. 2015;10(7):1–12. [DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0133410] [PMID] [PMCID]
42. Jones B, Emmonds S, Hind K, Nicholson G, Rutherford Z, Till K. Physical qualities of international female rugby league players by playing position. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;30(5):1333–40. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001225] [PMID]
43. Duthie GM, Pyne DB, Marsh DJ, Hooper SL. Sprint patterns in rugby :::union::: players during competition. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20(1):208–14. [DOI:10.1519/00124278-200602000-00034] [PMID]
44. Tee J, Lambert M, Coopoo Y. Impact of fatigue on positional movements during professional Rugby :::union::: match play. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016; [PMID]
45. Lacome M, Piscione J, Hager JP, Carling C. Analysis of running and technical performance in substitute players in international male rugby :::union::: competition. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016;11(6):783–92. [DOI:10.1123/ijspp.2015-0191] [PMID]
46. Barr MJ, Sheppard JM, Gabbett TJ, Newton RU. Long-Term Training-Induced Changes in Sprinting Speed and Sprint Momentum in Elite Rugby :::union::: Players. J Strength Cond Res. 2014;28(10):2724–31. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000364] [PMID]
47. Austin D, Gabbett TJ, Jenkins DG. Reliability and Sensitivity of a Repeated High-Intensity Exercise Performance Test for Rugby League and Rugby :::union:::. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(4):1128–35. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825fe941] [PMID]
48. Jaric S, Mirkov D, Markovic G. Normalizing physical performance tests for body size: a proposal for standardization. J Strength Cond Res. 2005;19(2):467–74. [DOI:10.1519/00124278-200505000-00037] [PMID]
49. Crewther BT, McGuigan MR, Gill ND. The Ratio and Allometric Scaling of Speed, Power, and Strength in Elite Male Rugby :::union::: Players. J Strength Cond Res. 2011;25(7):1968–75. [DOI:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e4f77c] [PMID]

Add your comments about this article : Your username or Email:

Send email to the article author

© 2017 All Rights Reserved | Annals of Applied Sport Science

Designed & Developed by : Yektaweb