Anthropometric and Physical Profiles of English Academy Rugby Union Players.
The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the anthropometric and physical characteristics of English regional academy rugby union academy players by age category (under 16, under 18 and under 21s). Data were collected on 67 academy players at the beginning of the pre-season period and comprised anthropometric (height, body mass and sum of 8 skinfolds) and physical (5 m, 10 m, 20 m & 40 m sprint, acceleration, velocity & momentum; agility 505; vertical jump; yo-yo intermittent recovery test level 1; 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test; absolute and relative 3 repetition maximum (3RM) front squat, split squat, bench press, prone row and chin; and isometric mid-thigh pull). One way analysis of variance demonstrated significant increases across the three age categories (p < 0.05) for height (e.g., 16s = 178.8 ± 7.1; 18s = 183.5 ± 7.2; 21s = 186.7 ± 6.61 cm), body mass (e.g., 16s = 79.4 ± 12.8; 18s = 88.3 ± 11.9; 21s = 98.3 ± 10.4kg), countermovement jump height and peak power, sprint momentum, velocity and acceleration; absolute, relative and isometric (e.g., 16s = 2157.9 ± 309.9; 18s = 2561.3 ± 339.4; 21s = 3104.5 ± 354.0 N) strength. Momentum, maximal speed and the ability to maintain acceleration were all discriminating factors between age categories, suggesting that these variables may be more important to monitor rather than sprint times. These findings highlight that anthropometric and physical characteristics develop across age categories and provide comparative data for English academy Rugby Union players.
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