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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology

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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 December;57(12):1633-41

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07114-6


language: English

Anthropometric and performance characteristics of the German rugby union 7s team

Erich HOHENAUER 1, 2, 3 , Alfred M. RUCKER 4, Peter CLARYS 3, Ursula M. KÜNG 2, Rahel STOOP 1, Ron CLIJSEN 1, 2, 3

1 Department of Business Economics, Health and Social Care, University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland, Landquart, Switzerland; 2 Thim van der Laan, University College Physiotherapy, Landquart, Switzerland; 3 Department of Movement and Sport Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium; 4 Department of Physiotherapy, Döpfer-Schulen, Regensburg, Germany


BACKGROUND: Somatotyping is advantageous in sports for the optimal development of performance level and injury prevention. The aim of this study was to describe the anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of the German national rugby union 7s team. Seventeen male rugby players, classified as forwards (N.=9; 24.2±2.1 years) and backs (N.=8; 24.3±5.05 years) were assessed.
METHODS: Anthropometric measurements included: body height, weight, height to weight ratio (H/W), five skinfolds, biepicondylar humerus and femur breadth, upper arm- and calf girth, estimated lower body fat percentage and determination of the individual and mean somatotype. The physical performance tests included: sit-and-reach, handgrip strength, one minute of sit-ups, one minute of push-ups, vertical jump performance, peak power performance, bent arm hanging, 40-m sprint, and the Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance Test.
RESULTS: The forward players were significantly taller (P=0.003), heavier (P=0.001) with a smaller H/W (P=0.009) compared to the backs. Humerus and femur bone breadths (P<0.05) and flexed upper arm and calf girths (P<0.05) were significantly different between the groups. Handgrip strength left (P=0.04), one minute of sit-ups (P=0.03), and peak power output (P=0.015) were also significantly different between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that German forward and back players have a similar somatotype and performance level. However, a higher body mass of forward players could be advantageous in that their playing position is much more body contact intensive, and requires a significant amount of tackling. The nominative data of this study may assist coaches to detect weak links in rugby specific athletic performance.

KEY WORDS: Somatotypes - Athletic performance - Athletes - Football - Muscle strength

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Publication History

Issue published online: October 20, 2017
Article first published online: April 28, 2017
Manuscript accepted: April 11, 2017
Manuscript revised: February 22, 2017
Manuscript received: October 18, 2016

Cite this article as

Hohenauer E, Rucker AM, Clarys P, Küng UM, Stoop R, Clijsen R. Anthropometric and performance characteristics of the German rugby union 7s team. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2017;57:1633-41. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.17.07114-6

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