In rugby, the physical and functional characteristics are determinant for the performance already from the youth categories. In previous studies only seniors and juniors athletes were analysed. Then, the Italian Rugby Federation promoted an assessment concerning under-18 players to which various universities participated. A database of 256 subjects between 13 and 17 years old has been obtained. This study aims to assess the anthropometric and motor performance characteristics of young rugby players of four positional roles (props, locks, flankers and backs), belonging to two age classes (13-14 and 15-16 yrs). The players performed a 15-m sprint test, countermovement jump, sit and reach flexibility test, incremental endurance test, rugby-specific shuttle running test. The weight, height, seated height, sum of selected skinfolds and derived indices were assessed. Two-way ANOVAs showed that the height, weight, sprint time and vertical jump height were significantly different between the age classes and roles. Conversely, the sum of skinfolds, skelic index, shuttle-run test and endurance test showed significant difference only amongst the roles. Specifically, the locks were taller and more long-limbed than the other players. The props were the heaviest and showed the highest skinfold sum and BMI, whereas the backs showed the lowest values of those indices. In all the motor tests, a trend in the performance was observed, the backs showing the best results respectively followed by the flankers, locks and props. A factor analysis allowed to identify three main factors, respectively relative to the body mass, the limb lengths, and the performance. Then, it was possible to individuate the different positions of subjects groups according to their roles as a function of the three factors. In conclusion, already in young players and independently from the age, it is possible to identify anthropometric and functional peculiarities that characterize the four main rugby positions.

Performance and physical development in young rugby players: effects of age and player position

MERNI, FRANCO;BRASILI, PATRICIA;TOSELLI, STEFANIA;DI MICHELE, ROCCO;DADATI, MARIO;LUSI, GIUSEPPE
2010

Abstract

In rugby, the physical and functional characteristics are determinant for the performance already from the youth categories. In previous studies only seniors and juniors athletes were analysed. Then, the Italian Rugby Federation promoted an assessment concerning under-18 players to which various universities participated. A database of 256 subjects between 13 and 17 years old has been obtained. This study aims to assess the anthropometric and motor performance characteristics of young rugby players of four positional roles (props, locks, flankers and backs), belonging to two age classes (13-14 and 15-16 yrs). The players performed a 15-m sprint test, countermovement jump, sit and reach flexibility test, incremental endurance test, rugby-specific shuttle running test. The weight, height, seated height, sum of selected skinfolds and derived indices were assessed. Two-way ANOVAs showed that the height, weight, sprint time and vertical jump height were significantly different between the age classes and roles. Conversely, the sum of skinfolds, skelic index, shuttle-run test and endurance test showed significant difference only amongst the roles. Specifically, the locks were taller and more long-limbed than the other players. The props were the heaviest and showed the highest skinfold sum and BMI, whereas the backs showed the lowest values of those indices. In all the motor tests, a trend in the performance was observed, the backs showing the best results respectively followed by the flankers, locks and props. A factor analysis allowed to identify three main factors, respectively relative to the body mass, the limb lengths, and the performance. Then, it was possible to individuate the different positions of subjects groups according to their roles as a function of the three factors. In conclusion, already in young players and independently from the age, it is possible to identify anthropometric and functional peculiarities that characterize the four main rugby positions.
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F. Merni; P. Brasili; S. Toselli; R. Di Michele; M. Dadati; G. Giovanetti; B. Magnani; L. Tedeschini; M. Valenti; G. Da Lozzo; S. Pogliaghi; F. Schena; G. Lusi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/100817
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