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Positional Roles

Outside Backs

  • Safe under high ball
  • Sound tackler
  • Acceleration and top-end speed
  • Understands role in defence
  • Able to communicate/organise back three
  • High work rate in cover defence, counterattack and backline entry
  • Vision, running lines and timing for backline penetration (extra man)
  • Strength in the tackle - able to stay on feet
  • Provides threat on blindside

Midfield Backs

  • Accurate passing skills
  • Vision - can put outsides into space
  • Strong, accurate, intimidating tackler
  • Strength for go-forward and able to stand in tackle
  • Straightness in attack
  • Able to confront/commit opponent and get ball away under pressure
  • Able to kick accurately off either foot
  • Excellent communication/organisation skills
  • Understands/reads the game
  • Speed to make outside break
  • High work rate in support play

Inside Backs

  • Understands the game tactically
  • General awareness/alertness
  • Excellent vision
  • Good communication/organisation skills
  • Able to "call the shots"
  • Decisive/authoritative
  • Good tackler (doesn't shirk confrontation)
  • Acceleration to make initial break
  • Able to threaten defence (commit opponents)
  • High work rate in support/cover defence
  • Able to withstand pressure (physical/ mental)
  • Organises defence

Loose Forwards

  • High work rate in support/cover
  • Speed to breakdown/speed endurance
  • Good running and linking skills
  • Strong tackles
  • Understand role in defensive pattern
  • Able to drive ball-carrier back around fringes and turn ball over in tackle
  • Knows running lines in attack/defence
  • Possible lineout option
  • Understands laws (particularly tackle ball/ruck and maul)
  • Wins ball on ground
  • Vision and awareness in tackle situations
  • Exceptional fitness levels
  • Relentless - not intimidated
  • Good all-round skills


  • Win own lineout ball
  • Contest opposition ball when required
  • Strong and durable, with physical presence
  • Agile in air, good hands and timing
  • Low body position in contact and pushing/ grouped phases
  • Able to concentrate on set phase first then get quickly to breakdown/in support
  • Strong in the tackle
  • Able to "pick and go" through middle of ruck
  • Relentless - never gives in


  • Strong scrummager, technically correct
  • Strong at supporting/lifting in lineouts/at kickoff
  • Mobile - quick to breakdown
  • Possible lineout option at front
  • Low body position in contact, scrum, ruck and maul
  • Very strong in upper body and legs
  • Durable, mentally tough
  • Agile, explosive for pick and go through rucks
  • Good tackler, high work rate
  • Not intimidated


  • Accurate thrower to lineout
  • Strong scrummager
  • General awareness at lineout and second phases - knows when to stay out/go in
  • Strong tackle
  • Exceptional fitness levels
  • Able to apply pressure physically and psychologically, eg "eyes and ears" at lineout
  • Strong in upper body and legs
  • Able to catch, pass and run effectively with ball
  • Accurate in ball retention

Generic Qualities

  • Will to succeed
  • Desire
  • High standards
  • Team ethos
  • Honesty
  • Responsibility
  • Accountability
  • Selflessness
  • Work ethic
  • Not easily intimidated
  • Understanding the game