Player Position – The Backs

Player Position - The Backs

There are seven backs in a rugby team and they wear the shirts numbered No 9 through to No 15. The backs comprise three smaller units, the half backs, the centres, and the back three and we will discuss each in more detail below. In very basic terms the role of the backs is to take the ball won by the forwards and score points, either by running or kicking the ball.

  1. The Half Backs

No.9 Scrum-half

The Scrum-half is the heartbeat of the team. He provides the vital link between the forwards and the backs and is involved in just about every facet of play.

Usually a relatively small player in stature, the scrum-half is a playmaker, and it is crucial that he has excellent communication skills. He must be able to marshal the forward pack, coaching them at the rucks and mauls as to where to drive, body position etc.

He must also be able to deliver a variety of passes off both hands (spin, dive, and pop), kick effectively, preferably with both feet, and have the vision, acceleration and confidence to make sniping breaks around the fringes. In short he must pose a constant threat by varying his game which will focus the attention of the opposition back row.

The scrum-half is responsible for putting the ball into the scrum and collecting the ball at the lineout and must have superb handling skills and the ability to deal with bad ball should it come his way.

On top of all that the scrum-half must be a solid defender able to bring down big forwards in close and make covering tackles as a last line of defence.

No.10 Fly-half

The fly-half is variously known throughout the rugby world as the stand-off, outside-half, out-half, 5/8 and 1st 5/8. He orchestrates both the defence and the attack of the backs, and this role needs to be filled by a player who is an excellent communicator, quick thinking, and capable of making big tactical decisions under pressure.

He must read the game well, have finely-tuned spatial awareness along with first-class handling skills, and the ability to put a team-mate through a gap. The fly-half should have explosive speed and be an accomplished kicker off both feet.

The days of the none tackling fly-half are long gone and it is now a necessity that he is solid in defence as the channel between fly-half and inside centre is one that is oft-targeted.

To really shine as a fly-half it is also a must to have a spark of ingenuity and the ability to change the course of the game with a moment of brilliance.

  1. The Centres

No.12 and No.13 Centres

Most teams adopt the inside and outside centre formation, however occasionally you will see sides have their centres play left and right. All centres must have a good all-round game, have an excellent pass off both hands and be strong and committed tacklers. It is critical that the centres build up a rapport and develop cohesion, particularly in defence.

The inside centre is normally the bigger and stronger of the two, and it is still as necessary as it ever was that he has no hesitation taking the ball into contact and attacking the gain line. Ball retention in the tackle is crucial, as is aggressive head on tackling in defence. Added to that the inside centre is expected to assist with cleaning out defenders at the breakdown. It is said in some quarters that that there is little to choose between an inside centre and an openside flanker (except that the former tends to be a little prettier!).

The modern game also sees the inside centre take on the responsibilities of a back-up kicker and for that reason is known in New Zealand as the 2nd 5/8.

The outside centre is often the smaller but quicker of the two, who is able to make breaks, draw defenders and put the wingers and full-back into space. The ball handling and passing skills of the outside centre are likely to be superior to his inside counterpart.

  1. The Back Three

The back three refers to the two wings and the full back. These players must communicate and work well as a threesome, especially in defence. Wings often play some of their rugby at full-back and vice versa judi online.

No.11 and No.14 Wings

Normally the quickest two players on the team, the wings can either play left and right, or blind and open. The left wing usually wears the No.11 shirt and the right wing the No.14.

The main responsibility of the wings is to finish attacking moves and score tries. Nowadays wings really do come in all shapes and sizes, but they all possess one extremely valuable weapon; raw speed. Dependant on the physique of the wing he may use the side-step and swerve to beat the man if he is slight, or strength and power to take on his opponent and break the line if he is bigger maxbet. Good ball retention skills are also a necessity for all wings.

They must also have good handling skills, be able to use a variety of kicks, be comfortable under the high ball and be able to defend well.

An ability to read the game well, have vision and to know when to come in off the wing to provide midfield support is hugely beneficial.

No.15 Full-back

The last line of defence and playing a sweeper role the full-back must be a top-drawer tackler and unfailingly safe under the high ball. He has to have the mental fortitude to execute these tasks often with no support. He also must possess a polished kicking game preferably off both feet.

The vision and confidence to counter attack are also prerequisites in modern rugby and the full-back must have the speed to be able to do so asian handicap. The full-back is often required to join the line either between outside centre and wing, or outside the wing and therefore requires excellent handling skills.

Player Position – The Forwards

Player Position - The Forwards

Rugby played at any level always has been a game for all shapes and sizes. In fact this is one of the fundamental tenets of the sport and is recognized in the International Rugby Board (I.R.B.) Playing Charter, a document endorsed by all member unions.

It is one of the only sports where the contributions of those blessed with static strength rather than speed are of equal value to their team. Even today with the recent advent of the Experimental Law Variations (ELVs), which are designed to speed the game up one sees a very broad range of physiques on display from local club rugby through to the international stage.

Throughout a team, from one to fifteen, the roles all require specific mental attributes, and therefore occasionally the player who does not appear to fit the mould physically can be very effective in his chosen position. We take a serious look and then a not so serious one at the various skills and requirements necessary to fill each position.

This feature is not designed to be a coaching aide per se, it is more of a general overview, however it is hoped that the novice rugby player will be able to glean some useful information from it, and used in conjunction with other tools it can benefit lower level coaches. Perhaps it will also enhance the enjoyment of spectators, armchair or otherwise and will no doubt provoke a few friendly arguments regarding my choice of players used to illustrate each position.

The Forwards

There are eight forwards in a rugby team and they wear the shirts numbered No1 through to No8. The forwards comprise three smaller units, the front row, the second row and the back row and we will discuss each in more detail below. The forwards traditionally are used to gain and retain possession of the ball; however in the modern game many forwards are extremely athletic and are used as ball carriers and in attacking open play moves.

  1. The Front Row

There are three players in the front row; a hooker supported by one prop either side. It is a fact that these are the only positions that are defined as requiring training and experience. According to requirements, spare props and hookers -in case of injury- must be available for contested scrums to continue. If there are no suitable replacements available the scrums must be uncontested. This is where the teams pack down but no pushing is permitted.

There is widespread ignorance about what goes on in the front row and the dark secrets can really only be learnt from the grizzled veterans who have survived the uncompromising environment themselves.

  1. The Second Row

The two second row forwards (sometimes referred to as lock forwards) are normally the two tallest men on the team. They pack down in the scrum behind the front row, binding tightly with the other second row and the prop in front (locking the scrum, hence the name) and thereby making a five man unit known as the tight five. One of their fundamental jobs is to provide the power in the scrum and this is why they are often referred to as the ‘engine room.’ The tight five should engage and drive as one, and not as five individuals.

The other primary role of the second row is to win lineout ball. The number two jumper (who normally wears the No 4 shirt) is usually the shorter and slightly bulkier of the two. As the throw gets to him quicker he is often a dynamic, powerful jumper almost always powering forward to take the ball. The number four jumper is usually the other second row agen bola (wearing the No 5 shirt). He is normally the taller, and as the ball has further to travel he is in the air longer and has more variations to deal with as the ball can be taken forward, straight up or backwards.

The second rows must be mobile, good ball handlers and confident under a high ball as the responsibility of securing ball from restarts often falls to them.

  1. The Back Row

Collectively the two flankers and a No 8, who are usually the quickest three forwards in a team make up the back row. Their skills should complement each other and they must blend together as a unit. One at least should have height, as he may be used as a tail of the lineout option.

No.6 Blindside Flanker

The blindside is normally the bigger of the two flankers (known together as the breakaways), and is the workhorse of the back row forwards.

It is necessary to be an all round athlete to play this position and fitness, strength, speed, courage, and stamina are all required in bucket loads. High work-rate and tackle counts are necessary in order to be an effective blindside and mentally he must relish the physical confrontation that this role demands.

At the scrum the blindside binds outside the lock and just behind the hips of the prop nearest to the touchline. His job is to prevent any attack down the blindside (narrow side) crossing the gain line. Sbobet Indonesia As he will ordinarily arrive later to the breakdown than the openside he will have to be able to read the game and anticipate what to do next. He is often required to do a lot of the unseen ‘donkey work’ at the rucks and mauls, and it is generally thought of as a less glamorous position than openside.

In open play the flankers are often utilised in back line moves and therefore good ball handling skills are a necessity.

No.7 Openside Flanker

The multi-faceted openside flanker is all things to all men. Usually smaller than his blindside counterpart he must possess the speed of a back whilst having the physical presence of a forward. He must be absolutely fearless, a psychotic tackler and be prepared to do whatever it takes to win the ball. At the scrum the openside binds outside the lock and just behind the hips of the prop furthest from the touchline and he must watch the ball travel through the scrum. If the scrum is lost he must explode away as soon as the opposition has possession.

A scavenger, the openside must either be first to the breakdown, or cause the breakdown by tackling the ball carrier. He does this by adopting intelligent and accurate running lines. This alone is not enough; he must be supremely fit, maxbet be able to regain his feet immediately and attempt to pilfer the ball thus creating a turnover. Turnovers are the yardstick by which the ability of opensides is measured, and they therefore must have a huge appetite for work. He is without doubt the hardest working player in a team.