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The Essence of Success in this the Greatest Team Sport in the world is: The ability of ALL players to perform numerous SKILLS at a consistently high level and at a high tempo, for the full duration of the game.


  • This has to be continually earned & is never a fore gone conclusion.
  • It demands a high level of conditioning, both physically & mentally.
  • Dedication to training & conditioning.
  • Discipline both on & off the field of play.

Key Areas of Rugby Fitness:

  • Anaerobic
  • Upper body strength
  • Core
  • Leg power
  • Mental strength

Strong Legs:

  • Rugby is essentially a stop & start, multidirectional running game, combined with short periods of power driving with the legs.
  • Large bursts of energy over short periods, with short recovery periods.
  • Therefore sustainable leg power is critical.


  • Is the ability to move a heavy weight quickly as opposed to strength which is need to move the same weight slowly.
  • Power is required during multi sprint activities, enabling a player to accelerate, change direction, stop quickly, hit rucks effectively and change from attack into defence & back into attack rapidly.
  • Strong scrums are a critical ingredient in winning rugby & requires players to exert massive amounts of coordinated power.
  • Line outs are a wonderful platform, from which to launch penetrating attacks & power is required to lift, jump & drive.


  • Explosive power is needed to hit the opposition beyond the gain line.
  • “Stop them in their tracks” or “ass over tit” hit & drives. Requires great leg & core power.

Pace & Speed:

  • ESSENTIAL for maintaining the continuity of the game at a high tempo.
  • All players regardless of their positions have to work on improving their speed & pace & that comes from working the legs.

So work hard in the gym or pushing the family car around, running up steps-forget standing on escalators, use them, you will be thankful later.

In Rugby,
Richard Aitken, Coach

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