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Core Skills

  1. Can cover in tight, middle channels, and far channels in the defensive wall (1 – 12 wide of the ruck). Can cover faster backline players in set-piece, phase, and transition play defense. 
  2. Push pass under pressure both sides to 5m and spin pass 15m.
  3. Low hip height at the ruck / tackle contest. Ability to hit high number of rucks per match. Excellent poaching skills.
  4. Understands completely the laws of the game at the breakdown and to best manage the referee’s perception of the contact point. 
  5. Decent runner with ball in hand. 

Scrum Skills

  1. Ability to play both sides of the scrum. 
  2. Ability to maintain stable and strong body profile in chaotic environment.
  3. Prioritizes pushing strong on scrum before ball is out.

Lineout Skills

  1. Decent jumping ability from both static and moving positions. 
  2. Catching skills of ball above head. “Soft hands.”
  3. Strong, stable profile in the air. 
  4. Ability to lift at front and back of jumpers. 
  5. Ability to move quickly from various lifting positions.  


  1. Able to perform correct technique of all core skills under pressure. 
  2. Ruck entry (CC). 
  3. Ball playing ability. 
  4. Aerial ability kickoff & lineout. 
  5. Connected with prop at scrum.

Strength & Conditioning

  1. Repeated anaerobic effort ability
  2. Aerobic endurance
  3. 10-20m acceleration
  4. Close quarters agility

Long-Term Athlete Development

  1. U16 & Younger: Ball-movement & defending ball-movement
  2. U18 - U19: Set-Piece & Exits
  3. 20+: Physicality, vertical, ground-game superiority
  4. Potentially a center or wing who is not quick enough at age 17 – 19.