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players roles by position in union v league


Academy Player
Nov 26, 2010
i have played union in the states off and on for 50 years and watch rugby everyday. having started playing in the early 70`s i have in a few changes in the game . i have watched a few league games but it just seem like a lot of one on one run and get tackled . i understand the there is a lot more to it then that. it seems that there is really no different positions , like forwards and backs, and i know that is not the case. it looks like everyone is pretty much built the same. i would like to know what different positions there are and the general responsibility of each . since there are no scrums , rucks or lineouts , no need for big less mobile props , just all backs. thanks for any help with this. rugby is the greatest game ever and i have played quite a few other sports , i have traveled and met lifelong friends thru rugby and it has changed my life. cheers
there ARE scrums in league...not the same but they do have them
Wingers and a fullback, someone to do the first pass from the 'ruck'. A couple of players who specialize in kicking and passing, some big players who specialise in trucking it up
There are a few specialised positions ..... Props generally are big brutes, to take the ball up and make the hard yards. Hookers need to be a good passer to play the Dummy Half role, and have speed to run if opportunity arises. Scrum-Half and Stand-Off run the game, and need a full set of running, handling and kicking skills. Full-Backs and Wingers are quick, good under the high ball ....... However, because there are no lineouts, rucks, mauls, and contested scrums, every player has to do the basics well; run, tackle, pass, so there is an element of every player morphing towards a standard shape. In RU terms, if every RL player could be like a Jonah Lomu who could tackle.
For me it's something like this:

Props, second rowers and locks are like the backrow in RU = Hard ball carriers or maybe a fit modern front row in RU like Bismarck du Plessis, Codie Taylor or Malcolm Marx

Hooker and scrum-half pass the ball from the 'ruck', so they are like sh in RU. The Stand-off is like the fly-half, wingers and centres are pretty similar in both codes. Even the fullback but obviously is not the same

So you have a lot of RU back-rowers picking the ball and running hard to the opposition, skinny specialists (HK, SH, SO, FB) And finally you have centres and wingers who score tries

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