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Playing as a prop

RiggsPopovich

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Hello everyone, I´ve decided to make a come back to the sport since 2017. Back then I was 27 years old and played as a flanker. At 31 now, being 1.85 meters tall and 110 kgs I want to play as a prop. Practices will resume around July-August so I believe I can put in some more weight. All I can find on the internet seems to be around scrummage but in my mind a prop also plays a role as a ball carrier, defense and disrupting the opposition. Can someone point me in the right direction? What are the must do´s as a prop that I should put my focus on?
 

Cruz_del_Sur

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Have you ever played as a prop before? It is a very, very specialized role.
If the fly half gets injured and you have no replacement, anyone is allowed to fill in the role.
Same with flanker, number 8, scrumhalf, etc.
There are very good reason why scrums go uncontested when no props can replace an injured/yellow carded one.

If you place someone who doesn't know what he is doing as a prop, the problem is not that you will lose the scrum. The problem is the chances of injury are not small. These guys withstand a lot of force on their necks/shoulder/backs. It's not just about being strong. There is a LOT of technique going on in there. Experience plays a huge role too.
This is not just about leaning forward and pushing.

I generally have no problem giving advice to comments like these. I always think "worst case he breaks a bone or twists something". I'd be very careful in this case thou. Front rowers are a different animal. Tread carefully ask your friends who played prop, the coach, etc.
 

BrokenWing

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^^ This is the most important thing to consider as you're in broken neck territory when it goes wrong^^

I would say that outside of the setpiece, there isn't really a breakdown of jobs for forwards?

I was a back so someone might correct me on this but as a prop, if you can carry, great. if you can jackal, great. It's obviously expected that your loose forwards are going to be more mobile so get through a lot more of the breakdown work, but obviously whatever player is in that situation may need to do that job so it's good if you can.
 

RiggsPopovich

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Have you ever played as a prop before? It is a very, very specialized role.
If the fly half gets injured and you have no replacement, anyone is allowed to fill in the role.
Same with flanker, number 8, scrumhalf, etc.
There are very good reason why scrums go uncontested when no props can replace an injured/yellow carded one.

If you place someone who doesn't know what he is doing as a prop, the problem is not that you will lose the scrum. The problem is the chances of injury are not small. These guys withstand a lot of force on their necks/shoulder/backs. It's not just about being strong. There is a LOT of technique going on in there. Experience plays a huge role too.
This is not just about leaning forward and pushing.

I generally have no problem giving advice to comments like these. I always think "worst case he breaks a bone or twists something". I'd be very careful in this case thou. Front rowers are a different animal. Tread carefully ask your friends who played prop, the coach, etc.
No, I have never played as a prop before.
Thank you, I never thought about it like that.
 

Kiwiwomble

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Hello everyone, I´ve decided to make a come back to the sport since 2017. Back then I was 27 years old and played as a flanker. At 31 now, being 1.85 meters tall and 110 kgs I want to play as a prop. Practices will resume around July-August so I believe I can put in some more weight. All I can find on the internet seems to be around scrummage but in my mind a prop also plays a role as a ball carrier, defense and disrupting the opposition. Can someone point me in the right direction? What are the must do´s as a prop that I should put my focus on?
im going back to playing in the front row after a muct longer break, scrummaging is definitely what you should work if your never done it before, i had played there before but i forgot what its REALLY like, working on the perfect form is essential to protecting yourself.

Is also why even loosehead and tighthead are becoming more and more specialised as understanding where the load is coming from and how to handle is is super important
 

TRF_heineken

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Playing as a prop, depends on you as the person playing in that position. It doesn't help you try and focus on becoming a ball carrier if you're not good in that area, in that you can't make explosive runs, or have a burst of speed or is tough to bring down.

Scrummaging is the most important part, but also lifting in the lineouts, tackling, and work at the breakdowns. We are currently seeing that props with good hands who can make proper passes and offloads, play a bigger role in games, while supporting the more elusive runners. securing the ball at the ruck, or trying to steal it like Steven Kitshoff and Trevor Nyakane, brings more value to the team, than a guy who wants the ball in his hands, but can only make 2 or 3 meters with a run over the advantage line.

There is nothing wrong with a prop doing just the basics, as long as he does it well. If you can't scrum, you'll give away penalties, and put your team on the backfoot the whole time. If you can't lift at the lineout, your locks can't win the ball. If you can't protect or win the ball at the ruck, the opposition will keep on attacking.

The props are not there to be flashy players, they do the grunt work and get little praise.

Look at the 2019 World Cup final, heaps of praise to Duane Vermeulen, Handre Pollard, Mapimpi and Kolbe. But everyone forgets it was the props that decimated the english scrum and allowed the Springboks to win penalties and build scoreboard pressure.
 

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I also think it depends what level you are playing at to be fair ... in the amateur game, quite a lot of props are just there for the scrums and don’t do a huge amount in the loose.

I’ve mostly played in the back row or at hooker, but I have played bits of games at loose head and tight head in the past and I can’t say I enjoyed it too much. Back row is much better IMO.

What’s your attraction to playing prop?

At amateur level, your involvement as a front row player can often depend on how good your team is. Following a lineout or a scrum, you need your team to complete at least a couple of phases before you’re likely to be in the position to see the ball. I’ve played in lots of games (mostly in bad conditions) which felt like a never ending scrum because either my team or the opposition would drop the ball before the front row were out of the scrum. I only touched the ball to throw in at the lineout or at the back of the maul. Pods etc. are all well and good in theory, but unless you’re playing at a good enough level for your team to actually follow (and consistently execute) a proper tactical game plan, don’t expect to see much of the ball. It sounds as though I’m being really negative about the teams I’ve played in. That’s not intentional - my point is that playing in the front row is vastly different depending on the level you play at.
 

RiggsPopovich

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I also think it depends what level you are playing at to be fair ... in the amateur game, quite a lot of props are just there for the scrums and don’t do a huge amount in the loose.

I’ve mostly played in the back row or at hooker, but I have played bits of games at loose head and tight head in the past and I can’t say I enjoyed it too much. Back row is much better IMO.

What’s your attraction to playing prop?
Great question, I´ve been playing back and forth for the last 8 years, always as a forward. First as a second row and when taller guys showed up I juggled around third row. I don´t see myself playing rugby beyond these next 2-3 years so it´s more of a personal feat before stepping out of the sport.
 

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