World Rugby Coaching : The home of Rugby coaching on the web : Functional role analysis
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  • Able to maintain a strong, stable body position as an individual/back row/whole scrum whilst exerting and resisting pressure
  • Able to move forwards and backwards under control as an individual/back row/whole scrum
  • Able to maintain a strong, effective and legal bind with the lock and prop
  • Able to work as a unit with the lock to support the prop.
  • Able to channel the ball to the Number 8 if required
  • Able to participate in back row attacking options


  • Able to outmanoeuvre opposition as part of a jumping pod
  • Able to jump with support to reach maximum height
  • Able to catch effectively in the air
  • Able to deliver the ball cleanly to team members
  • Able to participate in effective driven lineout should tactics dictate
  • Able to recover dropped possession
  • Able to provide attacking options round front or rear of lineout (peel)

Kick off

  • Able to catch ball cleanly on ground
  • Able to jump in the air and catch effectively, with and without support
  • Able to deliver the ball effectively
  • Able to support jumper in the air to enable effective catch/delivery of ball (if required)
  • Able to return jumper to the ground in a safe manner (if required)
  • Able to protect jumper in a legal fashion from opposition on landing (if required)
  • Able to recover dropped possession
  • Able to transfer ball away to team mates

Open play

  • Able to carry the ball/gain territory in possession
  • Able to make a range of different passes both left and right
  • Able to create, identify, communicate, manipulate and exploit space in attack
  • Able to recognise, communicate and fill space in defence
  • Able to support team members in attack and defence
  • Able to make effective side-on, front-on, rear tackles
  • Able to select and implement correct decisions during ruck/maul
  • Able to anticipate and move to next role from set piece quickly in attack or defence
  • Able to act as a link between forwards and backs to maintain continuity of play
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