• Rugby Union is a contact sport, therefor being strong and fit are essential to play at high levels. Thus the need for a strength and conditioning coach.
Background of rugby• There are 15 players on the field.• Players 1-8 are forwards• Players 9-15 are backs• Players 16-23 are reserves (mix of forwards and backs)
• Programs must be suited to the individual and position.• For example, a prop is not expected to be as fast as a winger, but is expected to be stronger in most areas.
• So what is the role of a Strength and condition (S and C) coach in a rugby team?
You may not believe it, but the S and C coach isactually in charge of all strength and conditionwork for the entire team.
Gym• The S and C coach must have expert knowledge of how to do exercises in the gym.• If athletes are lifting weights with incorrect technique then there is a major chance of injury.• The S and C coach must monitor and teach athletes how to lift weights correctly.
• The S and C coach plan’s gym and fitness sessions for the team.• There role is too keep the team strong and fit for the season.
Off-season• Fitness/Conditioning is not a main focus.• Little areas of conditioning are done, but mainly through skill components. For example, touch football.
Off-season-Overload principle must be applied.-Repititions are higher ranging from 6-12 withsets of 3-5.-4 to 5 days a week in the gym.i
Off-season• Speed sessions are also done.• Not fatiguing athletes but focusing on improving technique.
Pre-season• This phase also goes for 6-10 weeks with goals becoming more player specific.
Pre-season• Gains in the gym are more focused on strength and power.
• Strength Pre-season-repititions are lowered between 2-6 with setsof 3-5. heavy weights lifted, trying to increaseevery week by 2.5%. Overload principle applied.
Pre-season• Power is achieved through plyometric training. Box jumps are a very common exercise used. Olympic lifts such as snatches and power cleans are also used. This is to improve the explosive movements. Nothing in rugby union is done slowly, power is essential compenent.