Posted in Achieve, Sports on 14 September 2015 | by Amit

Rugby World Cup: Player Positions

Ahead of the start of the Rugby World Cup this Friday Elysium Magazine takes a closer look at the biology and physiology of the rugby player – a blend a raw power, speed and endurance that is difficult to find elsewhere in the sporting world. Here we talk a look at the typical composition of each core player type in the team so the discerning gent can identify the player or position best suited to his physical build and game temperament.


The Forwards


Props are big and solid – providing power and aggression in equal measure when locked in the scrum. Mobile but not necessarily agile, these guys are a mountain of bulk to ensure the scrum is one heavy unit.




The hooker is an important player in the rugby scrum. He has big strong shoulders that allows him to anchor himself alongside teammates into the scrum pack. His strong legs provide the energy and power needed to not only repel the force of the opponent, but also power his scrum forward. Finally, his strong arms gives him the power to hold his prop forwards close when driving through the opponents’ scrum.


Second Row Forward/Locks

In this position players are typically very tall, immensely strong and hugely powerful. Think back to New Zealand’s Jonah Lomu in his pomp and you’re looking at the archetypal second row forward. As a ball carrier, a second row forward needs to have big powerful hands to keep the ball, but also the athletic agility to power through the play.




Operating on the open-side or blind-side of the Number Eight, these athletic players have the speed and talent of the backs but also the power to get into the mix of the scrum when called upon. They are known as one of the most versatile players on the field, capable of high octane runs and hard-nosed defence when the time comes.



Number Eight

Sitting between the flankers is the Number 8 who rounds out the forward pack. Similar in build to the flankers, the Number Eight can mix it up when the time calls as well as providing the finesse and athleticism to cause the opposition no end of trouble.



Scrum Half

He is the talker of the team, always laying on the chat to the opposition and making himself known – even if there is no need. For this role he needs to have quick hands and be light on his feet as he links the forwards with the backs.



Fly Half

He is the conductor – the brain of the team that keeps things in optimal condition through the 80mins. He has the vision to orchestrate the play which is helped by his confident and skilful array of talents. Often maligned as the pretty boy of the team, the fly half isn’t afraid to get dirty, often putting in a shift of hard hits to breakdown opposition attacks. A fly half is also known for his kicking ability for drop goals and penalties.



Every unit needs a backbone and these are the guys. Call them battering rams or simply locomotive freight trains, they have the power and physical presence to cause the opposition a lot of bother. Whether inside centre or outside centre, they have a knack for taking the ball into contact which makes it very difficult for the opposition to win it back.




The speed merchants of the team ensuring there is always an outlet available that can carry the ball considerable distances to setup attacks or provide respite for the team in the midst of attacking sieges from the opposition. The fast-twitch fibres of the quads, hamstrings and calf muscles ensure explosive speed is always ready to be turned on.



The last line of the defence ┬áin this 15-man team but also a useful outlet in counterattacks in combination with the wings . Nibble and athletic – the blend is useful when your role is to stop the opposition or setup your own teams’ attacking forays.


The Rugby World Cup 2015 starts on Friday 18th September 2015.

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