Attributes required for each position with examples of international players & their attribute ratings. Read about your position & what attributes that you may need to improve.
5S requirements of rugby positions Speed, Stamina, Size, Strength, Skill.
(Levels 10 highest requirement , 1 minimum requirement. )
Props numbers 1&3
Props are normally heaviest players.
Position requires high level of strength to lift locks/2nd row.
Specialist skill level required for scrums, mauls & lineouts.
Hooker Number 2
Hooker completes front row, player maybe as large as the Props but normally smaller to allow “hooking ” of ball in the scrum.
Hooker requires specialist skill includes throw into lineouts.
At professional level can be used as “4th Flanker “.
Example is All Black Dane Coles
Incredibly fast for front row.
High level skills of hooker and bonus skills in passing game.
Number 4 and 5.
Generally tallest players, professional players are usually over 2 metres in height and average weight of 115kg.
Required to have higher levels of fitness and also good strength for scrums.
Specialist skills in lineout, jumping to gain possession, catch kick offs.
England 2nd row lock Maro Itoje
Height 195cm weight 115kg
Slightly shorter than other international locks, his pure athletic ability allows Itoje to dominate lineouts. Amazing Stamina levels and athletic gift makes Itoje arguable world’s best lock.
Blindside flanker (one of 3 loose forwards)
Number 6. (Or number 7 in SA)
In modern era this is enforcer of any team. Destructive player in attack or defence, most number 6s have ability to smash props & locks, run down backs.
Every player’s worst nightmare.
Example IRB player of the year 2019
Pieter Stephanus du Toit
Weight 120kg height 2m
Openside flanker (loose forward)
Number 7 (Or SA number 6)
7 usually one of smaller forwards,
Due to high level of Stamina required, specialist position requires 7 to contest every ruck.
Normally supports backline by maintaining possession, & Winning opposition ball.
Example 2 time world champion & most hated All Black outside of New Zealand.
Number 8 (last man in scrum, loose forward)
Number 8 in modern era has changed from enforcer role to more mix of both blind & open side flanker position with requirements. Some teams go with two openside flankers like Australian duo of Pocock at 8 and Hooper at 7. Or England with tackle busting Billy Vunipola as 8.
But All Black Kieran Read number 8 did set high benchmark at his peak.
Read was tough tackler , great athletic ability & one of fittest in dominate All Blacks & Crusaders teams.
Example Kieran Read.
Half back Number 9.
Usually smallest player but definitely should be loudest. Little General of forwards, 9s job is to ensure forwards are defending around ruck, winning possession and gain “hard ” yards when needed . Passing & distribution of the ball is essentially half back’s main job.
9 and 10 should have clear communication, 10 decides he wants the ball and when he doesn’t.
Accuracy of his box kicks and passing under pressure must be of highest standard.
Half backs requirements
Springbok world champion 2019
François ‘Faf’ de Klerk (giant slayer)
Height 172cm weight 81kg
Fly half/ first five
Teams struggle without highly skilled 10. The responsibility of 10 is to manage players during game, 10 has to have highest level of skill.
Example 2003 world champion Jonny Wilkinson, with dominate English forward pack, Wilkinson management of backs , accuracy of passing, kicking (included field position kicks, drop kicks & kicks for goal) top players in fly half position struggle to reach the standard set by great number 10. Wilkinson’s point tally was only just eclipsed by All Black Dan Carter near end of his career.
Centres numbers 12 and 13.
Centres create opportunities for wingers, either using size/strength powerful players as Manu Tuilangi/ Sonny Bill Williams. Or centres that exploit space (attack areas of the rugby field with no players in that area) Brian O’Driscoll, Tim Horan , Philippe Sella.
Passing/handling skills must highest level. Some centres may not use kicking skill but ability to pass to other players in the backline is a MUST.
England currently use two fly halves, Owen Farrell at 12 and George Ford at 10 . This allows two players with tactical kicking ability & management backline.
Traditional centre pairing as Wellington teammates & 2011 world champion All Blacks Ma’a Nonu (powerful centre, tackle buster) and Conrad Smith (High level fitness and “rugby brain ” ability to read the game both defensively and offensively).
Nonu at 12 Smith at 13
Speed 9 8
Stamina 7 10
Size 7 6
Strength 8 6
Skill 8 10
Wingers, numbers 11 and 14.
Wingers can vary in SIZE alot but one high level attribute the have in common: is SPEED.
Wingers play at edge of rugby pitch.
They’re usually fastest players on field. Also are usually highest scoring players the team. Handling ability of the ball must also be highest level.
Here are two of greatest rugby wingers who extremely vary in size.
Jonah Lomu Shane Williams
196cm 120kg 170cm 80kg
SPEED 10 10
Stamina 4 8
Size 10 4
Strength 10 7
Skill 6 7
Fullback, number 15.
Usually Skilful wingers may become fullbacks.
Not only top rating of SPEED is required but STAMINA & SKILL.
Probably one of the most demanding positions, simple errors in this position can cost a team a win.
As last man in defensive line, fullback must be confident tackler, ability to clear territory with long distance kicks, high level ability to catch kicks, high level of passing and cover longest distance covered in 80 minutes (Fullback may have to run 12-14km distance compared to average distance of international Prop forward 5-6km in same game)
Currently All Blacks converted IRB player of the year Beauden Barrett from fly half position number 10 to fullback, Barrett definitely has all attributes required for the fullback position, only time will tell if he maintain the position.
As player you can decide what position you would like to play. BUT look at attributes required for each position. If you’re 170cm tall chances of being lock are virtually impossible at descent level of rugby. But if you have good speed and great ability to learn & practice kicking & passing you may be great half back or fly half. Remember everyone can learn SKILLS of rugby & improve your STAMINA , you can find a position that suits you & your attributes best. Train hard. Play Fair. Be Safe & Have Fun.