Rugby is the ultimate team sport, and if you’re willing to train hard and put in the effort on the pitch, there will be a position for you regardless of your size or shape. Each position requires different skills, which makes it flexible for someone who is looking to get involved.

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There are 15 players on the pitch: eight forwards who make up the scrum when required, and seven backs, who are spread out across the field. Physical characteristics might have a bearing on your choice of position, and age could also play a role. As you get older, the big hits tend to hurt more and recovery time is longer.


When you’re starting out, you might not have a choice about where you play; it could be a case of learning the skills across the board. If you have a preference, say so, but it’s good to be flexible. You might find you play better in another position.

As you get older, you might find that you are labelled. Your natural physique will lend itself better to certain positions. For example, bigger, heavier players will tend to take forward positions, whilst faster, smaller players are backs. However, rules are there to be broken; a great player like Jonah Lomu at 1.96m might have been a contender for the back row, but if his coaches had been too rigid, the world would have missed out on one of the greatest wings ever.

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There is no such thing as the “right” size for a particular position. Although forwards tend to be bigger, being significantly bigger than other front row players will unbalance the scrum and could be a disadvantage. Locks are generally tall to help them reach the lineout ball, but a shorter player who can jump like a salmon could be fantastic! Skills and attitude will generally be more important.

For a bit of fun, why not try out the Ruck quiz to give yourself a bit more to think about? Once you’ve discovered the best position to play, you can start training accordingly. If you need rugby drill inspiration, look online with experts like Sport Plan and make sure your training is as effective as possible.

The key is to enjoy whichever position you play. Eat well, exercise regularly, and you could have a long rugby career.