Performance profiling of front five players of an elite male rugby union team
University of Wales
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The aim of the study was to produce performance profiles for each of the playing positions that constitute the front five in rugby union and to identify any intra-positional differences. Nine matches were sampled from the domestic season of a professional male rugby union team. Key performance indicators were developed to describe the performance of front five players. Behaviours were recorded into a notation system in Microsoft Excel. This data was utilized to create performance profiles for each player through the calculation of median values and 95% confidence limits. Clear positional profiles were found for the three positions analysed (prop, hooker and lock). This was illustrated by the number of successful carries made. The prop cluster had a median of 6 successful carries (95% confidence limits of 12 and 5), the hooker had a median of 8 (95% confidence limits of 14 and 4) and the lock had a median of 4 (95% confidence limits of 8 and 2). Intra-positional differences were assessed by comparing performance in the principal performance indicators (tackles, carries, passes and breakdowns involved in). Limited differences were found within each positional cluster when looking at the median values. However the confidence limits showed important observable differences in the variability of players. The findings show that confidence limits are more suitable than median values when constructing performance profiles as the overlap between players is shown. Also the median value alone is too constrained and ignores the effects of confounding variables that often occur in rugby union.
BA Enterprise Project
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