Anthropometric and performance characteristics of the German rugby union 7s team

BACKGROUND: Somatotyping is advantageous in sports for the optimal development of performance level and injury prevention. The aim of this study was to describe the anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of the German national rugby union 7s team. Seventeen male rugby players, classified as forwards (N.=9; 24.2±2.1 years) and backs (N.=8; 24.3±5.05 years) were assessed. METHODS: Anthropometric measurements included: body height, weight, height to weight ratio (H/W), five skinfolds, biepicondylar humerus and femur breadth, upper arm- and calf girth, estimated lower body fat percentage and determination of the individual and mean somatotype. The physical performance tests included: sit-and-reach, handgrip strength, one minute of sit-ups, one minute of push-ups, vertical jump performance, peak power performance, bent arm hanging, 40-m sprint, and the Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance Test. RESULTS: The forward players were significantly taller (P=0.003), heavier (P=0.001) with a smaller H/W (P=0.009) compared to the backs. Humerus and femur bone breadths (P<0.05) and flexed upper arm and calf girths (P<0.05) were significantly different between the groups. Handgrip strength left (P=0.04), one minute of sit-ups (P=0.03), and peak power output (P=0.015) were also significantly different between the groups. CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that German forward and back players have a similar somatotype and performance level. However, a higher body mass of forward players could be advantageous in that their playing position is much more body contact intensive, and requires a significant amount of tackling. The nominative data of this study may assist coaches to detect weak links in rugby specific athletic performance.
© Copyright 2017 The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. Edizioni Minerva Medica. All rights reserved.

Subjects: anthropometry physique performance index value performance requirement rugby Germany
Notations: sport games junior sports
DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07114-6
Published in: The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
Published: 2017
Volume: 57
Issue: 12
Pages: 1633-1641
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced