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ORIGINAL ARTICLES  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 April;56(4):415-21

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physical fitness profiles of elite under-19 rugby union players

Luis VAZ 1, Iancu VASILICA 1, David CARRERAS 2, Wilbur KRAAK 3, Fábio Y. NAKAMURA 4

1 University Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health and Human Development, CIDESD, Vila Real, Portugal; 2 Institut Nacional d’Éducacion Física de Catalunya, INEFC, Leida, Spain; 3 Department of Sport Science, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa; 4 Department of Physical Education, State University of Londrina, Londrina, Brazil


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BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to investigate and compare the physical fitness profiles between positions of elite male under-19 rugby players.
METHODS: Forty-one male under-19 rugby players were divided into backs (N.=16) an forwards (N.=25). Anthropometric measurements and fitness tests for each participant were taken during three testing opportunities of the Portuguese male under-19 national team.
RESULTS: Body weight (kg) demonstrated significant differences between the backs (t=4.12, P<0.001, effect size strong) and the forwards. The data revealed differences between the backs and forwards for body height (cm) (t=2.29, P<0.005, effect size strong), although the backs were significantly younger. Discriminant function structure coefficients (SC) and test of statistical significance for physical testing performance parameters demonstrated differences between the players in the 20m time/seconds (SC=0.49), agility 10 x 5m (SC=0.49), mesomorph (SC=-0.47), endomorph (SC=0.39), 50m time/seconds (SC=0.36) and VO2max/mL.kg-1.min-1 (SC=-0.30).
CONCLUSIONS: These differences could be due to the different roles, skills and movement patterns that these players perform during training or match-play. The findings of this study can assist coaches and trainers with information to develop fitness testing protocols for elite male under-19 rugby players.

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