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Winger becoming flanker?


The Winger

Hi, well I'm 16, I'm about 5"10 and weigh around 63kg (10 Stone). I have alot of muscle and a fast pace. My coach at my club outside of school puts me wing because of my speed and strength, but in the school team the coach wanted to try me out in flanker and I preformed really well there.

I was wondering, is winger to flanker an unusual switch? Am I the right body type for flanker? Should I just stay on the wing?

Also, could someone explain how you tell which side is blindside and which side is openside in flanker please?

In a scrum, the blindside flanker is always the flanker nearest the touch line, and they tend to be bigger and slower than the openside, who is always on the side furthest from the touchline and they tend to be faster and smaller than their blindside counterparts.

I think what position you play depends on your preference. As a flanker you'll be involved in a lot less open play than if you were on the wing but you'd also get a lot more contact as a flanker.

If you like the finesse of the wing go there but you like getting stuck in the thick of it go flanker.
Roba has got the definitions of the two flankers right.

I think that a switch from winger to flank is not very unusual. I think you'd fit at openside rather than blindside, just because the faster flanker is on the openside; and your coach probably wants a faster player on the openside to keep the fly-half pressured.

In my opinion, you are a bit small (in weight) to play flank, but if you've got your mind set on tackling players larger than you, and are set to get to as many breakdowns as you possibly can, you will excel at playing flanker.
Thanks, very helpful. I was wondering, on flanker how often is it more about skill that sheer size?
Thanks, very helpful. I was wondering, on flanker how often is it more about skill that sheer size? [/b]

Size comes in at the lineouts (lifting or jumping, since your 5'10, i think jumping won't be much of a problem atm) and at the rucks (rucking, crashball/pick and go). When a breakdown occurs, you want to be the first man there to recover the ball for your team, and don't let the ref see you use your hands (this is a bit of both size and skill).

Most of the skill comes in off the scrums. You'll be tackling either the eight man (off the pick up), the scrum half, or your primary target, the fly-half. If you're are good at nailing your tackles, you'll be a great flanker.
As 7 or 6 for your size i would say 7 would be your best bet,
if your playing u17's rugby for club that weight should just about be ok as long as your skill levels are good, even if they arent you can always improve :p
if at colts level which i am as a 7 you will find it very tough against a good side weighing 10 stones but but if your technique is good it wont be a problem.

as for height and weight in jumping you would be perfect as long as your jump is good.

at the end of the day as a 7 you dont have to be in every ruck you have to be where your needed which means as long as your fit and with that pace you should be fine there ;)
Did you know Richie MaCaw started off rep level as a winger??
Plus Tuqiri played flanker for a match during the 03 World Cup, I still reckon he is a natural born flanker :p
Martyn Williams is a mere whippet of a man but a hugely talented, skillful openside so don't let your size be a problem!

Out of interest, anyone remember Englands reserve SH going in at blindside in the WC final? I Lol'd
Personally I've played forward before even though I'm a natural centre or wing. If you want to move then Openside Flanker is not too far off, you need to be strong and quick for a forward, so it's not a huge change.

But at the same time, it will require a lot of practice, time and effort to make the transition succesfully.

Simply put, if you feel that your speed is dwindling compared with other backs, but your strength is very good, then it's a good idea, but if you are one of the quick guys on the field, then you should probably stick to wing.
i dont rekon so. In my 2007 season i was centre for school, i played in backrow 7 and 8 everynow and then and i much prefer it there. during the season i was exactly your (abit taller) build and found that i could get involved in the game alot more at flanker, especially since i was fitter and faster than most fowards i would normally be at the breakdown first.

i played u16 this years by the way but if ur worried about size dw our other flanker is one of the smallest in the team but also the best because his technique is awsome and his dam brave. this switch for me is great and next season im probaly going for backrow.
Fast openside flankers are a major PITA for flyhalfs, I should know. From what I've learnt of my bro who is a backrower taking out the 5/8 when you're on defence can stop a play dead, and a fast openside flanker is what I and most other 5/8's look out for.
If I play a side which has a fast openside I usually stand back in the pocket to give me more time, not sure if others do it but if you can get to the 5/8 when the ball does your coach would definately pick you there time and again. Also, if your a good ball theif then pinning the opp 5/8 and stealing the ball would put your team on the front foot and would catch the opp off guard as they'd be going backwards.
Hope this helps, and I'll be watching out for flankers like you from now on.
I play Flanker and Out-Half

im just 2 inches taller
flankers are usually tall
but your fine...hope you enjoy your playing time at Flanker
I love flanker
of course Out-half is my first choice
Martyn Williams is a mere whippet of a man but a hugely talented, skillful openside so don't let your size be a problem!

Out of interest, anyone remember Englands reserve SH going in at blindside in the WC final? I Lol'd


Yeah that was a confusing move...unless Pete Richards has got some backrow experience i am unaware of?
I spent most my time in the second row when i played because I haven't grown from my 6'0 frame since i was about 14, but as I moved up to colts and 2XV rugby I found myself an ill fit for a second row.
I was drafted into the back row, mainly on the blindside but we usually played left/right as opposed to open/blind so it didn't count for much.
I ended up playing league over the summer, then changed clubs back to union.
As well as back row I had occasional stints in at outside center and fullback because I retrieved some pace from league.

Basically, what I am trying to say is.

Try to learn to play as many positions in your youth as you can, it makes for versatility later on in your career.
I've known young props who have gone to play fullback at senior level and I've even know hookers who ended up playing second row when they grew up more.

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