Anthropometric profiles and physical characteristics in competitive female English premiership rugby union players

Yao, Xiang, Curtis, Christopher ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4386-0284, Turner, Anthony N. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5121-432X, Bishop, Chris ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1505-1287, Austerberry, Alex and Chavda, Shyam ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7745-122X (2021) Anthropometric profiles and physical characteristics in competitive female English premiership rugby union players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 16 (9) . pp. 1234-1241. ISSN 1555-0265 [Article] (doi:10.1123/ijspp.2020-0017)

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Abstract

Rugby union is a field-based team sport with a large number of high-intensity actions such as sprinting, change of direction, tackling, scrummaging, rucking, and mauling. Competitive success in female rugby union has previously been related to anthropometric and physical characteristics, and with the recent introduction of professionalism in female rugby, characterizing such physical attributes may provide insight into selection and training processes.

Purpose: To identify anthropometric and physical characteristics of competitive female rugby union players and differences between playing positions.

Methods: Twenty-two players were recruited from the top tier of female rugby union in the UK during the 2018-2019 Premiership season. Players were split into forwards and backs and underwent body composition testing via dual x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) and physical characteristic tests (10m and 20m speed, 1RM bench press and squat, countermovement jump, drop jump, isometric mid-thigh pull and 1200m shuttle).

Results: Moderate to large significant differences between playing positions in both anthropometric and physical characteristics were found (p< 0.01). Forwards displayed greater body mass (p = 0.03), fat mass (p = 0.01), and absolute upper body strength (p = 0.03), whereas backs demonstrated superior countermovement jump height (p = 0.01), drop jump height (p = 0.01), greater reactive strength (p = 0.03) and speed (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: These findings provide practitioners with a greater understanding of anthropometric and physical characteristics of professional female rugby union players.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute > Strength and Conditioning at the London Sport Institute
Item ID: 31013
Notes on copyright: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 16(9), 1234-1241, https://doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2020-0017. © 2021 Human Kinetics, Inc.
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Chris Bishop
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2020 15:58
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 04:31
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/31013

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