Physical differences between forwards and backs in American collegiate rugby players

Michael B. La Monica, David H. Fukuda, Amelia A. Miramonti, Kyle S. Beyer, Mattan W. Hoffman, Carleigh H. Boone, Satoru Tanigawa, Ran Wang, David D. Church, Jeffrey R. Stout, Jay R. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

La Monica, MB, Fukuda, DH, Miramonti, AA, Beyer, KS, Hoffman, MW, Boone, CH, Tanigawa, S, Wang, R, Church, DD, Stout, JR, and Hoffman, JR. Physical differences between forwards and backs in American collegiate rugby players. J Strength Cond Res 30(9): 2382-2391, 2016 - This study examined the anthropometric and physical performance differences between forwards and backs in a championship-level American male collegiate rugby team. Twenty-five male rugby athletes (mean ± SD; age 20.2 ± 1.6 years) were assessed. Athletes were grouped according to position as forwards (n 13) and backs (n 12) and were evaluated on the basis of anthropometrics (height, weight, percent body fat [BF%]), cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle thickness (MT), and pennation angle (PA) of the vastus lateralis (VL), maximal strength (1 repetition maximum [1RM] bench press and squat), vertical jump power, midthigh pull (peak force [PF] and peak rate of force development [PRFD]), maximal aerobic capacity (Vo 2 peak), agility (pro agility, T test), speed (40-m sprint), and a tethered sprint (peak velocity [PV], time to peak velocity, distance covered, and step rate and length). Comparisons between forwards and backs were analyzed using independent t-tests with Cohen's d effect size. Forwards were significantly different from backs for body weight (90.5 ± 12.4 vs. 73.7 ± 7.1 kg, p < 0.01; d 1.60), BF% (12.6 ± 4.2 vs. 8.8 ± 2.1%, p ≤ 0.05; d 1.10), VL CSA (38.3 ± 9.1 vs. 28.7 ± 4.7 cm 3, p < 0.01; d 1.26), 1RM bench press (121.1 ± 30.3 vs. 89.5 ± 20.4 kg, p ≤ 0.05; d 1.17), 1RM squat (164.6 ± 43.0 vs. 108.5 ± 31.5 kg, p < 0.01; d 1.42), PF (2,244.6 ± 505.2 vs. 1,654.6 ± 338.8 N, p < 0.01; d 1.32), PV (5.49 ± 0.25 vs. 5.14 ± 0.37 m·s -1, p ≤ 0.05; d 1.04), and step length (1.2 ± 0.1 vs. 1.1 ± 0.1 m, p ≤ 0.05; d 0.80). Vo 2 peak was significantly (p ≤ 0.05, d -1.20) higher in backs (54.9 ± 3.9 ml·kg·min -1) than in forwards (49.4 ± 4.4 ml·kg·min -1). No differences in agility performance were found between position groups. The results of this study provide descriptive information on anthropometric and performance measures on American male collegiate championship-level rugby players offering potential standards for coaches to use when developing or recruiting players.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2382-2391
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume30
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anthropometrics
  • athletic performance
  • power
  • speed
  • sports
  • strength

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