There are 5 main attributes of rugby.
Each individual has varying levels of following attributes.
SPEED is the attribute dependent on your genetics, yes people are born with different levels of high twitch fibres but EVERYONE can improve speed with plyometric training, Sprint work. Low weight fast explosive movements. Example like push press, etc
Backs are general higher requirement of speed BUT there are forwards faster than most backs,
Pierre Johan Spies, springbok number 8 was 2nd fastest player in Bulls team beating everyone in backline except his Springbok teammate, winger Brian Habana.
But not all players have gift of speed but example of Richie McCaw was one of greatest All Blacks but definitely slowest pace in many training camps.
STAMINA , refers to fitness or cardiovascular ability of a player, this attribute allows players to be at “right place at right time ” winger exploiting tired prop, or prop to turnover ball at ruck to secure possession at crucial time.
Ability to quickly recovery from intense Sprint or physical ruck & to carry out action again.
Attribute of Stamina was Richie McCaw’s main strengths. High level of fitness allowed McCaw to be at every ruck to contest & steal alot of possession.
Also backs like All Black centre Conrad Smith who made highest tackle count in many test matches also was fittest All Black during training camps .
Of course Stamina is dependent on your ability to carry weight, international Props can weigh from 120 to 150 kg, excess weight does hinder fitness but SIZE is helps to dominate scrums, mauls,rucks & tackles
SIZE, genetic attribute allows different sized players to be more suitable to different positions.
As mentioned in attribute of Stamina carrying extra weight reduces players fitness level but is advantage in collusion of players.
Momentum = speed x mass.
Bigger player at same speed is much harder to stop.
Example is one of the most famous rugby wingers was late great: Jonah Lomu.
120kg , 196cm , 100m in 10.68sec was incredibly difficult to stop.
Compare to Rugby world cup winner Jason Robinson English winger
81 kg , 174cm 100m in sub 10s
Robinson’s smaller size allowed extremely quick changes of speed & direction, high scoring winger used his smaller size to his advantage.
Your SIZE is an advantage, if light nippy 9, half back like All Black Aaron Smith or 151kg giant prop BenTameifuna can determine your position but NOT set it.
McCaw started as young prop & finished his career redefining number 7 open side position.
Ex England winger Matt Banahan
201cm tall and 110kg would be great size for second row forward number 4 or 5 but has successful career on the wing.
STRENGTH, advantage of Size is strength . Generally props do have requirement of lifting players in lineouts and stress of forces in scrums.
England International prop Andrew Sheridan could bench press 225kg, squat 275kg at body weight of 125kg.
But All Black enforcer Jerome Kaino was not “strong ” in gym but number 6 ,blindside flanker was feared on field from his destructive work .
Many wingers have very good power/bodyweight ratios , high level of strength for their bodyweight.
Example wingers that weigh 80-90kg can squat 200kg now in professional era.
Last most important attribute:
Rugby requires many specialists SKILLS.
Props experience can upset younger, stronger Props technique.
Experienced Fullback is constantly covering attacking kicks returning ball to good field position reliving pressure on his/her team.
Different positions require different skill sets.
Only way to improve your skills, training and experience.
Understanding required attributes of YOUR CHOSEN position & what attributes that you may need to improve.