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Physical Characteristics Explain Ball-Carrying Capability in Sub-Elite Rugby Union Players

Hart, AS, Erskine, RM, Mclaughlin, TJ and Clark, DR (2022) Physical Characteristics Explain Ball-Carrying Capability in Sub-Elite Rugby Union Players. Journal of Science in Sport and Exercise. ISSN 2096-6709

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1007/s42978-022-00178-w (Published version)


Purpose: The aims of the present study were two-fold: (i) to investigate the relationship between physical characteristics and the game statistics associated with ball-carrying capability amongst sub-elite rugby union players, and (ii) to predict the level of change in these physical characteristics required to improve the associated game statistic via regression analysis.
Methods: Thirty-eight senior professional players (forwards, n = 22; backs, n = 16) were assessed for body mass (BM), back squat (BS) single-repetition maximum (1RM) normalised to BM (1RM/BM), 10 m sprint velocity (S10), 10 m sprint momentum (SM10), and the game statistics from 22 games within the 2019/20 RFU Championship season. The relationship between these measures and the predicted level of change in a physical measure required to improve the total number of the associated game statistic by one were assessed by Pearson’s correlation coefficient and simple regression analyses.
Results: In forwards, an ~ 11.5% reduction in BM, an ~ 11.8% improvement in BS 1RM/BM, or an ~ 11.5% increase in S10 was required to improve the game statistics associated with ball-carrying capability. In backs, a ~ 19.3% increase in BM or a ~ 15.6% improvement in SM10 was required.
Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that improvements in lower-body relative strength, acceleration performance, and position-specific alterations in body mass are required to maximise the ball-carrying capability and therefore match outcome of sub-elite rugby union players.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Springer
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2022 11:20
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2022 11:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1007/s42978-022-00178-w
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/17540
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