Rugby is a physically demanding sport that requires a diverse range of skills and attributes. Understanding different rugby positions is crucial to develop deep appreciation for the game. In this guide, we’ll explain the roles and responsibilities of each position, what number they are assigned, and the type of player best suited for each role.
The forwards are typically responsible for winning possession and making ground by carrying the ball forward. They are usually the larger and more powerful players on the field. There are eight positions in the forwards:
The props are responsible for providing stability in the scrum and are usually the heaviest players on the team. The loosehead prop (1) plays on the left-hand side of the scrum and is responsible for supporting the hooker and providing a strong platform for the scrum. The tighthead prop (3) plays on the right-hand side of the scrum and is responsible for anchoring the scrum and providing stability.
The hooker plays a pivotal role in the forward pack and is positioned between the two large props in the scrum. As a key decision-maker for the forwards, the hooker is responsible for coordinating the timing and gaining possession in the scrum by hooking the ball back through the prop’s legs.
Additionally, the hooker has important duties during lineouts. They must accurately pass the ball to the lineout jumper and make the necessary calls, which often involve specific cadences and codes dictating when the jumper should be lifted. In open play, the hooker acts similarly to the props, securing possession in mauls and rucks, or receiving short crash balls.
The locks are responsible for providing power and strength in the scrum and the lineout. They are usually the tallest players on the team and need to be able to jump and catch the ball at the lineout. They are also responsible for providing extra drive in the scrum and carrying the ball forward when necessary.
The flankers are responsible for providing speed and mobility in the forwards. They need to be able to tackle effectively, steal the ball from the opposition, and provide support to the backs when necessary. The blindside flanker (6) usually plays on the side of the scrum that is closest to the touchline, while the openside flanker (7) plays on the other side of the scrum.
The number 8 is responsible for providing power and speed from the base of the scrum. They need to be able to pick up the ball from the back of the scrum and run forward, providing momentum for the team. They also need to be able to tackle effectively and support the other forwards in the rucks and mauls.
In short, the forwards are the players who are primarily responsible for winning possession and making ground by carrying the ball forward. Each position in the forward pack has a unique role to play, and players in these positions need to have specific skills to execute their roles effectively. From the props who provide stability in the scrum to the number 8 who provides power and speed from the base of the scrum, the forwards are an essential part of any successful rugby team.
The backs are typically responsible for scoring points, although they also need to be able to defend and tackle when necessary. There are five positions in the backs:
The scrum-half is the player who passes the ball from the scrum and rucks. They are responsible for controlling the tempo of the game ,making quick decisions and overall game planner. The scrum-half is usually the player who starts the team’s attacking moves and communicates with the fly-half to ensure that the team’s plays are executed effectively.
The fly-half is the player who typically controls the team’s attack and is responsible for distributing the ball to the other backs. They are typically good kickers and need to have excellent decision-making skills. The fly-half is often considered the playmaker of the team and is responsible for directing the team’s attacking moves and ensuring that the backline is in the right positions.
The centers are responsible for both attacking and defending. They need to have excellent ball-handling skills and be able to tackle effectively. The inside center (12) typically runs hard and straight and is responsible for creating space for the outside center (13). The outside center (13) is usually the faster of the two and is responsible for breaking through the opposition’s defense.
Wingers are usually the fastest players in the team and are responsible for executing game plan and scoring tries. They need to have excellent finishing skills and be able to defend effectively. The wings typically stay wide and are the main players who receive the ball from the fly-half and centers to run down the field and score tries.
The fullback is responsible for covering the entire field and is typically the last line of defense. They need to have excellent positional sense and be able to counterattack effectively. The fullback is often the player who catches high balls kicked by the opposition and is responsible for initiating counterattacks by running the ball back down the field.
In summary, the backs are the players who are primarily responsible for scoring points and making attacking moves. Each position in the backline has a unique role to play, and players in these positions need to have specific skills to execute their roles effectively. From the scrum-half who controls the tempo of the game to the fullback who is the last line of defense, the backs are an essential part of any successful rugby team.
Rugby Players and Positions Explained : Leicesters Tigers Youtube
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of each position in Rugby Union is essential to appreciating the game fully. While players may have specific positions, they need to be able to perform a range of skills and adapt to different situations. A team’s success in Rugby often depends on how well its players work together to execute their roles and responsibilities.
Players who are best suited to forward positions are typically larger and stronger, with good physicality and ball control skills. In contrast, those who excel in the back positions are typically faster, more agile, and have excellent ball-handling skills.
It’s also worth noting that while some players may have a preferred position, they may be required to play in different positions depending on team strategy, injuries, or substitutions. From the powerful forwards to the speedy backs, each player has a unique role to play in the team’s success.
Source : Rugby Wiki