Rugby is a spectacular, action packed, sport. It’s a great form of physical exercise teaching players multiple disciplines, tackling, kicking, running, passing and hopefully at the end of it all thrilling tries. The great thing that rugby also offers is a great togetherness. There is a tremendous camaraderie forged through relying upon and working hard together as a team. Underlying all of the rules and aspects of the game are its core values, which can have a great impact on the lives of young people, families and their communities. It is physical and tough to play (sometimes to watch too) but can accommodate many different builds of athlete.

Player Positions

Hover over the left hand teams shirts to discover the various player positions. And the characteristics required to play in that position.

Rugby Union

Players in the front row tend to be more squat and powerful but less mobile, smaller more agile players can fit in comfortably at scrum-half or fly half, quicker rangier players would usually be found on the wing and the muscular big player at flanker. Whilst anyone finding themselves head and shoulders above the rest could be a great addition at lock.

Union Positions
Hooker Prop Prop Lock Lock Flanker Flanker Number 8 Scrum Half Fly Half Wing Wing Centre Centre Fullback

Hooker

No. 2 - Hooker

The hooker is centred in the middle of the scrum. Their job is to hook the ball as it is fed into the scrum by the scrum-half.

The hooker also generally has the responsibility to throw the ball in from line-outs.

Prop

No.1 - Loose-Head Prop

A prop anchors the scrum and provides power at scrum time. They also provide lifting support at line-outs and are valuable assests to rucks and mauls.

These players tend to be squat and powerful, as they need to immovable objects once the scrum is in full flow.

The loose-head prop has their head positioned on the outside of the scrum.

Prop

No.1 Tight-Head Prop

A prop anchors the scrum and provides power at scrum time. They also provide lifting support at line-outs and are valuable assests to rucks and mauls.

These players tend to be squat and powerful, as they need to immovable objects once the scrum is in full flow.

The tight-head prop is situated to the right of the hooker and is fully engaged in the srum.

Lock

No.4 - Lock

Locks (second row) try to win the ball at line-outs. They also provide much of the forward momentum in the scrum.

These players tend to be very tall not uncommonly around 6' 5" or taller. The second row also has to be strong and powerful as they provide leverage in the scrum.

They also tend to be big players in the ruck and maul. And can often be found carrying the ball into big contact areas trying to get over the gain line.

Lock

No.5 - Lock

Locks (second row) try to win the ball at line-outs. They also provide much of the forward momentum in the scrum.

These players tend to be very tall not uncommonly around 6' 5" or taller. The second row also has to be strong and powerful as they provide leverage in the scrum.

They also tend to be big players in the ruck and maul. And can often be found carrying the ball into big contact areas trying to get over the gain line.

Flanker

No.6 - Blindside Flanker

Their key objective is to turn-over the ball. They are there to make tackles and win the ball back.

The blindside flanker is found on the narrow side of the pitch at a scrum or breakdown in play.

These players tend to be muscular, large and athletic. They need stength and speed to get quickly to breakdowns.

As strong, quick athletes these players will often do a lot of the teams ball carrying into congested areas, in an ttempt to make the gain line.

Flanker

No.6 - Openside Flanker

Their key objective is to turn-over the ball. They are there to make tackles and win the ball back.

The openside flanker is found on the wide or open side of the pitch at a scrum or breakdown in play.

These players tend to be muscular, large and athletic. They need stength and speed to get quickly to breakdowns.

As strong, quick athletes these players will often do a lot of the teams ball carrying into congested areas, in an ttempt to make the gain line.

Number 8

No.8 - Number 8

The number 8 secures the ball at the base of the scrum. They have to carry the ball into the opposition territory and try to gain as many metres as possible to put the team onto the front foot.

Their role is link the forwards and back so they also need to have a good positional sense, good spacial awareness and good handling skills.

The number 8 tends to be a big all round player, tall, muscular and powerful. They need to be quick and powerful over a short distance in order to break through the opposition players defence.

Scrum Half

No.9 - Scrum Half

Feeds the scrum and receives the ball from the scrum. The player is the decision maker of the team. Do you distribute the ball quickly or slow things down to give the team a breather. Do you play to forwards or the back, or go yourself.

A real link-up player from forwards to backs. The player needs to be able to read the game, have good speed and skill and be comfortable with the hands or boot.

Often not a large player but someone with good athleticism, strength and speed and a quick mind.

Fly Half

No.10 - Fly Half

The conductor of the team. Receives the ball from the scrum half and then decides whether to kick, run or pass.

This player must have great tactical awareness and make quick decisions under pressure.

Often a smaller player not as big or powerful as most of the other players but nimble and swift of thought.

Wing

No.11 - Left Wing

These are the speedsters of the team. A winger will often try to find space out wide and hit the accelerator. These players will often try to outrun the oppostion in order to score a try.

They will need to be fast and strong also as they can often find themselves isolated in defence. So this too is a big part of their game.

As well as speed it is important for the winger to have good hands in order to take and make swift incisive passes.

Wing

No.14 - Right Wing

These are the speedsters of the team. A winger will often try to find space out wide and hit the accelerator. These players will often try to outrun the oppostion in order to score a try.

They will need to be fast and strong also as they can often find themselves isolated in defence. So this too is a big part of their game.

As well as speed it is important for the winger to have good hands in order to take and make swift incisive passes.

Centre

No.12 - Inside Centre

The centres are both equally important in defence and attack. They must make tackles when the opposition in possession but be equally at home with the ball in their hands.

Using speed, creativity and flair to find space and gain metres these players tend to very agile, lean, strong and fast.

Centre

No.12 - Outside Centre

The centres are both equally important in defence and attack. They must make tackles when the opposition in possession but be equally at home with the ball in their hands.

Using speed, creativity and flair to find space and gain metres these players tend to very agile, lean, strong and fast.

Fullback

No.15 - Fullback

More often the not the last line of defence. The fullbakc must be physical and be able to make those last ditch tackles but also have a great kick in order to make big clearances when under pressure.

As the player that sits deep in defence they must also be comfortable under a high ball.

This player also must be able to join the attacking line swiftly and try to create an overlap for try scoring opportunities for the winger.

A player with strength, speed, good feet and hands and a good boot is essential.

Rugby League

The forwards (numbers 8-13) tend to be larger and stronger than the backs and rely more on strength and physicality to break through the opposition, rather than play-making skills. Backs (numbers 1-7) place more emphasis on speed and ball-handling skills. For this reason the players tend to be smaller and more agile.

League Positions
Fullback Wing Wing Centre Centre Stand Off or Five-Eighth Scrum-Half or Half Back Hooker Prop Prop Second-Row Forward Second-Row Forward Loose Forward or Lock Forward

Fullback

No.1 - Fullback

The fullback plays at No.1 and is the last line of defence. He stands behind the other defenders. They must chase and tackle any players who bursts through the first line of attack so must be strong, quick and agile. As well as catching and return ing kicks by the opposotion.

In attack they support and bring wingers into play as well as acting as an overlap. A player with strength, speed, good feet and hands and a good boot is essential.

Wing

No.2 - Right Wing

There are two wingers playing down either touch-line, No.2 plays on the right wing. Wingers are tasked with marking their opposing winger in defense, as well as catching and returning offensive kicks and so are freqently found behind the defensive line to assist the fullback.

In attack they give width to the line and will often try to outrun the oppostion in order to score a try. For this reason they are among the fastest players in a team, using speed to exploit space that is created for them.

Wing

No.5 - Left Wing

There are two wingers playing down either touch-line, No.5 plays on the left wing. Wingers are tasked with marking their opposing winger in defense, as well as catching and returning offensive kicks and so are freqently found behind the defensive line to assist the fullback.

In attack they give width to the line and will often try to outrun the oppostion in order to score a try. For this reason they are among the fastest players in a team, using speed to exploit space that is created for them.

Centre

No.3 - Right Centre

Positioned just inside their respective wingers, centres provide an additional attacking threat out wide. They need to be fast players and often provide the pass that enables the winger to finish off a move.

In defence, they are expected to mark their opposing centre.

Centre

No.4 - Left Centre

Positioned just inside their respective wingers, centres provide an additional attacking threat out wide. They need to be fast players and often provide the pass that enables the winger to finish off a move.

In defence, they are expected to mark their opposing centre.

Stand Off or Five-Eighth

No.6 - Stand Off or Five-Eighth

Responsible for directing the ball to the rest of the team in attack (hence the nickname 'pivot') and is often a strong passer and runner. This player is often referred to as "second receiver", during attacks they are typically the second player to receive the ball, from the half back and are then able to launch an attacking move.

Scrum-Half or Half Back

No.7 - Scrum-Half or Half Back

Sometimes referred to as "first receiver", half backs are important decision-makers in attack. A good half-back has to be sharp witted and is one of the most skilful attacking players in the team. This player links the forwards and backs together is also usually required to provide the majority of in-play kicking for their team.

Hooker

 

No.9 - Hooker

The hooker packs down in the middle of the scrums front row and is so named because of the traditional role of "hooking" the ball back with the foot when it enters the scrum.

A hooker would need to be one of the best passers of the ball as they often play the dummy-half position. This means they recieve the ball from the play-the-ball and then would pass to a teammate or run themselves to continue the attack.

Prop

No.8 - Prop

There are two props, numbers 8 and 10, who pack down in the front row of the scrum. Actings as 'props' on either side of the hooker. Props are usaully the heaviest and largest players on the team and as such are used as battering rams to break through the oppositions defence. When defending these players would be expected to absorb most of the oppositions forwards attacks.

Prop

No.10 - Prop

There are two props, numbers 8 and 10, who pack down in the front row of the scrum. Actings as 'props' on either side of the hooker. Props are usaully the heaviest and largest players on the team and as such are used as battering rams to break through the oppositions defence. When defending these players would be expected to absorb most of the oppositions forwards attacks.

Second-Row Forward

No.11 - Second-Row Forwards

Numbers 11 and 12 respectively, each second row forward will often support their centres and wings on their side of the pitch. They have similar roles to props but usually have a little more speed or agility as they drift wider in attack. In defence these players will make many of the tackles required in a set of six.

Second-Row Forward

No.12 - Second-Row Forward

Numbers 11 and 12 respectively, each second row forward will often support their centres and wings on their side of the pitch. They have similar roles to props but usually have a little more speed or agility as they drift wider in attack. In defence these players will make many of the tackles required in a set of six.

Loose Forward or Lock Forward

No.13 - Loose Forward or Lock Forward

Featured at the back, behind the two-second-rows in the scrum. The loose forward is somewhat of a utility role; some teams may choose to simply deploy a third prop, while other teams may use a more skilful player in this position as an additional playmaker.

Rugby really does offer a great opportunity to almost anyone of any build to test themselves and be a valuable member of the team.

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