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League vs Union - Who's faster?

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Interesting article comparing speeds of Rugby League vs Rugby union players

While the forwards were roughly the same speed the Union forwards were nearly 7kg heavier on average

And the union backs were faster than their league counterparts

I think part of the disparity would have been the pool of players they selected from were from slightly different levels - Allblacks vs Warriors (granted the majority of the Warriors were also internationals). The pool of players the Warriors are picked from is much smaller than the all blacks too due to the playing numbers disparity.

Also would it be fair to say that backs have to do a lot more forward work in league than the backs do in union? So perhaps strength training is more pronounced than speed work?

An interesting study

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Interesting article comparing speeds of Rugby League vs Rugby union players

While the forwards were roughly the same speed the Union forwards were nearly 7kg heavier on average

And the union backs were faster than their league counterparts

I think part of the disparity would have been the pool of players they selected from were from slightly different levels - Allblacks vs Warriors (granted the majority of the Warriors were also internationals). The pool of players the Warriors are picked from is much smaller than the all blacks too due to the playing numbers disparity.

Also would it be fair to say that backs have to do a lot more forward work in league than the backs do in union? So perhaps strength training is more pronounced than speed work?

An interesting study

keen to read, do you have a link?

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They actually had a race its on YouTube or the internet somewhere. On a proper track was 80-110m not sure exact distance. Inglis, Hayne some super rugby players. A super 15 winger from Aus won by a long shot. Not that 80+ meters is really relevant. Christian Cullen for example was fast but really only over 40 or so meters often when he go a big break he would almost be run down by a lot of outside backs over length of field stuff but he was devestating cause of his short burst speed.

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They actually had a race its on YouTube or the internet somewhere. On a proper track was 80-110m not sure exact distance. Inglis, Hayne some super rugby players. A super 15 winger from Aus won by a long shot. Not that 80+ meters is really relevant. Christian Cullen for example was fast but really only over 40 or so meters often when he go a big break he would almost be run down by a lot of outside backs over length of field stuff but he was devestating cause of his short burst speed.

I saw this. Funny thing was Inglis was suprisingly slow

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Sorry forgot to post the link lol

http://jd-strength.blogspot.co.nz/2015/09/rugby-union-vs-league-whos-faster-and.html?m=1

The conclusion that mass x velocity gave the player a better advantage to break tackles holds merit.

Also need to take into account body position and last minute acceleration before hitting the tackler that busts you through the line. Plenty of small explosive league players bust thru the line continuously and gain an extra 10m every run. It's not a running race

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Invited James to comment on the thread.

 

My guess is that league forwards run significantly further during a game than their union counterparts, hence the lower bodyweight and potentially greater need for aerobic capacity.

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Invited James to comment on the thread.

My guess is that league forwards run significantly further during a game than their union counterparts, hence the lower bodyweight and potentially greater need for aerobic capacity.

this is why you can have allblacks vs kiwis in a league match but not in a union match. It's just to dangerous.

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Just to clarify I'm not the author of the study however I'm good friends with the authors and planned to use the same data for my research but other stuff prevented that.

 

What I write here is a mixture of the authors speculations and my opinions so overall, we can't make definitive statements about why the results are as they are. But in saying that...

 

Both groups consisted of 15 elite athletes and were classed as elite due to representing their respective countries. They were selected from a larger pool but there's always limitations with athlete selection.

 

Wookie is right with league players covering more distance in a game, also involved in a greater amount of high intensity activities (tackles, wrestle, sprints etc). Hence the need for greater aerobic adaptations.

 

Just speculating here but union has a greater "horizontal component" to it with athletes having "to overcome a greater number of high force movements such as scrums, rucks and mauls which favour athletes who can effectively accelerate their own body mass." Compared to league which is a very "upright" sport due to the ruck being totally different. Outside of S&C training, union players are scrummaging, cleaning out rucks for their skill work adding extra work in that horizontal force vector.

 

I think the most interesting theory is the fact union players were found to have greater hamstring strength than league players found in this study http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23751772. A researcher out of France has linked greater hamstring strength (especially eccentric) with faster sprinters hence the authors of this union vs league paper speculated this could be part of the reason for better sprint performance.

 

I've written a few more little posts on my blog, if you guys are interested check them out and let me know how they are. Appreciate any feedback on them :)

 
Also feel free to ask any questions. Not sure if I covered everyone's posts

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