Sunday, 28 February 2010

Ireland rugby Irish Rugby Team 6 nations 2010 be the difference song

Ruby Union vs Rugby League - do we need a winner

Different rules, different heritages and different sets of fans; rugby league and rugby union have evolved from the same origin to become vastly different sports today. The question on my mind is whether, in this age of pure professionalism in sport where innovation is dictated by cash, do we really need to compare the sport's two codes any more? Or has the pressures put upon them by the modern media and bureaucratic governing hierarchies turned them into purely different sports that should not be compared any more?

On the surface these two great games seem very similar however, look a little deeper and the differences are vast. Rugby league is more intensive, tackling-based game with fewer main rules which results in an open structure with the ball in play for most of the game. Union however is far more structured with a greater emphasis on set-piece and formulated play. Professional sport places incredible demands on athletes these days and results in sportsmen and teams that are physically highly specialised in a certain type of activity. This is why it is a common observation that league players have very similar body shapes and physical attributes, because they all do a similar job on the field.

But this concept extends beyond mere physical size or statistical information on speed or strength to team tactics also. Rugby union teams have members with some very specific roles. The hooker for example, always throws the ball into the line-out and 'hooks' the ball with his feet in the scrum to regain possession. Likewise the outside-half always (well, almost always) kicks the points and lines up as first receiver in attack. These two positions have very different physical demands and will be filled by very different players. There are numerous other examples of this throughout the union team also; second-rows are usually tall, wingers are usually very fast and the scrum-half tends to be a shorter more agile player than the front-row forward.

Such characteristics are maximised in the professional sporting environment. To take a simple example, if being tall makes you a good second row then the taller you are (within reason of course) the better second-row you are! I know this is basic but the idea holds true throughout a union team and therefore it can be seen as a team of specialists who each focus on a different (but related) job. Compared this to league where every player's job is similar, the team is made up of similar players specialising in the same job.

It is for this reason that it is unfair to compare these sports in the modern era. They are simply too different! In fact, they were different to begin with and professionalism, with its rigorous demanding for perfection has simply maximised these differences. So do we really need to compare them? Aren't they just too different as sports? You be the judge!

Having been a rugby player for many years, at many levels and in both codes of this wonderful sport, I like to think I know what I'm talking about! However, one question I have never been able to answer is which is the best code? Add your voice today and help solve the age-old debate of Rugby League vs. Rugby Union:

Thursday, 25 February 2010

The All Blacks rugby Haka

2011 Rugby World cup preparation

Have you seen the strongman competition? Won by Zydrūnas Savickas in 2009, it is held annually and often involves giant men such as Bill Kazmaier, Mariusz Pudzianowski and Magnus Ver Magnusson performing feats of strength that are unimaginable and awe inspiring. Performing stunts like lifting atlas balls, the 'Hercules hold', keg toss, flipping over giant tyres, 'duck walk' and car carry, against both the clock and competitors; the strong man competition is the ultimate strength event in the world. The strength and conditioning of these athletes is phenomenal. There strength conditioning not only involves the ability to lift massive weights but to carry them over distances which takes into consideration the cardio vascular aspect of their training. When you see the strongman events you cannot help but notice that some of these athletes push themselves to the point of bleeding through their noses. The effort and dedication put into the event is out of sacrificial love to be the best no matter the cost. I would not want to tread lightly into the gym workout or training program of any of these Incredible Hulks let alone compete in Strongman.

One of the strongman events is the pulling of a truck or airplane with a rope. Vehicles such as transport trucks, trams, buses or airplanes are pulled across a 30 metre course by hand as fast as possible. In 2007 a fire engine truck was pulled and in 2008 a coal truck. The truck itself sometimes weighs over 12 tonnes. How is a human being able to pull a truck that heavy? What kind of weight training, strength training exercise, strength conditioning or gym workout would one follow to attain such monster proportions of strength? Some of these athletes are able to pull the truck past 30 metres in approximately 30-40 seconds. This demonstrates raw strength together with endurance and speed. How is a human being able to perform such a feat? Does science hold an answer to this? Is this all geometry and physics? Or is this something to do with the strength training anatomy of the individual concerned i.e. is he a superman?

Yes it takes phenomenal strength to do this. But is there more to it? Examining the truck or airplane pull in detail - when you look at the stance of the athlete in the event, you notice his stance is somewhat similar to a 100m sprinter in the blocks. Have a close look at Dwain Chambers, Usain Bolt or Assafa Powel in their blocks before their sprint off in the 100m. The strongman stance is similar. They all tend to lean forward at a 45 degree angle.

A ball thrown into the air at a 45 degree angle travels the furthest. A cricket batsman like Vivian Richards from the West Indies or Aravinda De Silva from Sri Lanka are able to hit the leather cricket ball out of the cricket ground, past the spectators, over the sea gulls and into the nearby housing complexes by targeting their hits at a 45 degree angle. This is pure physics. A projectile fired at 45 degrees travels the furthest as at this angle most distance is covered at maximum force. This theory is implemented in firing missiles and rockets. Therefore by maintaining a 45 degree angle to the ground, the strength training anatomy of a strongman is able to drive the most force against the truck / plane he is pulling. A higher angle exerts less force and possibly causes difficulties in balancing as his centre of mass / gravity is thrown off course. A lower angle reduces the frictional pull the strongman has on the ground. The strength exertion at a 45 degree angle is the greatest.

Having a look at the truck / plane pull reveals that a strongman does not perform one single pull (or thrust forward), but instead exerts a sustained set of continuous repetitive pulls. His strength conditioning involves momentum. He does not explode with one pull alone but uses the speed from each pull to drive the next pull. Bodybuilders often avoid this sort of training as momentum uses physics rather than muscle fibre to make the weights move in their training motion. Each pull from the strongman slackens the rope before being pulled again. Friction causes the truck to slow down after each pull. This strongman event is likened to a strength training exercise of performing a 220 Kg squat for more than 40 repetitions in less than 30-40 seconds. Does that sound doable to you?

What does all this have to do with Rugby? The World Cup is not too far away and a lot needs to be done in preparation. Strength training and more so - functional strength training, is likely to be the decisive factor in the Rugby World Cup 2011. The Tri Nations 2009 revealed that strength, force and endurance crowned South Africa the victors. There is just about time for teams across the world to tap into functional strength training and drink the spoils of warrior grade training. Who better does one learn from than the kings of strength and endurance? The strongman.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Inspirational Speech on Rugby

How Popular is Rugby Now?

Rugby has grown in popularity over the years and has a number of professional and international competitions and matches that offer great spectator and supporter value. An example is the Rugby World Cup, which was won by South Africa in 2007, which makes them the current world champions.

There are approximately 17 countries that play rugby as a major national sport, but newer entrants are slowly surfacing. The most prominent countries in rugby include England, South Africa, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Australia and New Zealand, with numerous developing countries in hot pursuit.

One could view rugby as being split into a Northern and Southern hemisphere style, which differs quite vastly in tactics employed and strategies utilised within the game. The major competitions on an international level in the Southern Hemisphere include the Tri Nations, which is a round robin tournament between South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The most recent winners or Tri Nation champions are New Zealand.

The most noted Northern Hemisphere competition is that of the Six Nations, which is between England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Each team plays each other team once, and this tournament has its roots as far back as 1871. The current champions of the Six Nations title are Wales.

There are numerous national championships and regional championships which effectively keep the rugby participants busy the whole year round. A very well known and tough competition in the southern hemisphere is the Super 14, which consists of 14 teams battling it out to secure this very coveted title. The Crusaders from New Zealand are the current title holders. The Heineken Cup can be considered as the northern hemisphere equivalent of the Super 14, although it contains more teams, a total of 24 teams compete for this title, with the current champions being Munster, a team from Ireland.

In order to play in these regional type competitions, a team normally has to qualify in the preceding season within their local leagues and games, making it a tough challenge already on the local level. The teams that do progress are seen as the best of the best.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Stuart Tinner Crossbar Challenge

Rugby fitness and training

Rugby fitness largely depends on the ability to recycle bouts of intense effort and work interspersed with periods of low intensity rest and recuperation. However, what happens when you get hit?

This is what separates rugby fitness from the rest of the sports.

Getting fit for rugby means also including the element of contact. My old school master used to call it contact fitness or match fitness as it is better known.

However, training for this is no easy task.

Here are my top three methods for including rugby fitness specific contact drills:

1) Up downs

Rugby is best played on your feet. On the floor out of the game. Getting fit for rugby means being able to get back to your feet as quickly as possible and being able to repeat this. So, if rugby fitness is your priority then include games with forfeits that include the dreaded up-down. This is performed when a player hits the deck, lie on the back and springs back to their feet without using their arms.

2) Tackle Bag Hit and Carries

Make a tackle by hitting the shield and then replicate this effort by sprinting back 5 m to make another hit. Repeating this for up to 10 repetitions or timed sets will work wonders for that element of up down match fitness. This is guaranteed to turn a few lads green.

3) Resisted Tackles

This is great for explosive power off the side of a scrum or ruck and is best done in the gym or can be performed from the side of a post. The player attaches himself via a bungee to the fixing and walks out so that there is tension on the band. Keeping tension on the band the player can then hit and drive in to a pad or perform resisted jumps or wrestle a ball from a player on the ground. The point is to develop rugby fitness this has to be performed under resistance.

Again we have experimented with sets of 15 jumps and wrestles - tough stuff. try and implement after skill work to allow for maximum skill implementation.

John Lark M.A CSCS is author of Get Fit for Rugby. You can download his free email course covering all aspects of strongman, strength speed and fitness for rugby at

Article Source:

Monday, 22 February 2010

Some more crunching tackles

The history of Twickenham - Rugby

Twickenham RFC is one of the places that can trace its roots all the way back to the beginning of rugby. The clubs heritage goes back as far as 1867 when the members of Wellesley House were playing rugby football against their rivals, Richmond. Here in this article we shall look briefly at the history behind Twickenham rugby and how it has become the big prestigious club we know today.

In 1873 the Twickenham Football Club's members consisted of memberships from the older men that had played in the Wellesley House academy which had closed at this point. The fixture with Richmond was continued and an exciting advert appeared shortly after in the local press, advertising for boys under seventeen, 'the son's to gentleman only' to form a boy's football club.

Reports in the press began to emerge about Twickenham rugby sides, known as Twickenham 'Proper' and Twickenham 'Seconds' and the 'Lightweights' who were all playing to rugby rules. Reports of these matches continued to appear within the press until 1884, where they suddenly stopped. The Twickenham rugby tradition was to be then carried on by the Young Man's Friendly Society toward the end of the decade. The team known as Twickenham FC played at least two games in 1889 under this new name.

The records for rugby then are patchy until 1893 when a meeting for local footballers was held in a local pub near Twickenham Green. The point of this meeting was to re-form the Twickenham football club, clarifying which rules were to be followed, association or rugby. The vote was that rugby football rules were to be followed on the pitch. The decision to then wear black jerseys with a white TFC was also then agreed. A photograph of this very team still exists today and is Twickenham's oldest artefact of the rugby club. The next year the team's colours were changed to red and black, which they remain today.

At the turn of the century the team had become good enough to play most of the senior clubs and were offering players for the Middlesex team. Originally they all played on Twickenham Green before the magnificent stadium we know today. Watching Twickenham rugby is an experience that every rugby fan should try at some point in their life. Twickenham hosts a range of hospitality packages and stadium tours are available for those that want to find out that little bit more about this historic club.

Dominic Donaldson is an expert in sport.
Find out more about Twickenham Rugby and how the services available can offer hospitality packages at this prestigous rugby club.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

The best trys in Rugby 2007 World Cup

Learning the Positions in Rugby

In the game of rugby, the players are divided into two main groups, the forwards and the backs. The forwards are generally the biggest players on the team who are involved in the mauls, scrums and rucks. They play as a team within a team and are often referred to as the pack. The backs on the other hand have exceptional kicking and ball handling skills. They are the fast and agile players of the team who use their quick thinking skills against their opponent during a match. The backs also play as a team but they more so play a 1-on-1 defense against the opposing team.

The first 8 of the forwards on the team play the same position. Their job is to do whatever necessary to keep the ball on their side of the field. Within the scrum they are called the tighthead prop, loosehead prop and a hooker. The guys that fill these positions are the biggest, heaviest and have the strongest neck and shoulders to withstand the pressure of being in the front row of the scrum. The second row in the scrum also consist of big and strong men but they are called lock forwards. The side of the rows are called flankers. These men have the advantage of the best angle to see where the ball is and break out of the scrum and into their positions first in order to start the play.

Backs are far more specific in their position on the field. They require precision with their passing and often run from very organized and specific plays to get the job done. The scrum half is the first of the forward's positions and their main job is to keep the ball off the ground and always in play. The fly half is the leader of the backs. This person is in charge of calling all the plays and ensuring the men are in the right positions to execute the play in question. The fly half does very little ball handling but a great deal of punting in an average game.

Next are the centers. There is an inside center and an outside center. The inside center is usually a very strong and large man in size who conducts crash plays back into the pack. The outside center on the other hand is much smaller in size and is meant for speed and agility more than brute force. They work together in order to keep the ball from their opponent through skips and switches.

What are known as wingers are on the very outside of the play. There is an open winger which is not a designated person but the position is always changing as the plays change. This person must be a solid tackler as they are always in the line of action. The blind side winger is on the opposite side of the play and is more about defense and blocking plays than offense.

Lastly is the fullback. This is the last line of defense if the opposing team has managed to get the ball towards your end of the field. The fullback aims to interfere in their play and punt the ball down towards the other end of the field.

Now that you have an idea of the different positions used in a game of rugby you can better tell where you fit in. Test out each and every position so you fully understand them, this is the best way to become involved in a full contact game like rugby.

Article Source:

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Basic overview of the rules of Rugby

Get ready for the Rugby World cup 2011

If you're planning on travelling to New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup 2011, you have a lot of planning to do. Whether you're just starting out or if you already have plans underway, you need to think carefully about the different things that you are going to do while you're in town. For starters, you will want to make sure that you take the time to find travel tickets to New Zealand. Once you've found your travel tickets, you can then begin to look into how you're going to travel around the country and where you're going to stay.

So many people will be filling up the typical hotels and resorts for the Rugby World Cup 2011. Any standard accommodation is going to be overflowing with fans and people who have come to see the competitions. However, there are other options than staying in an overcrowded hotel or motel. You can, for example, hire a campervan to enjoy the country. Not only will you avoid the chaos and crowds, but you'll also be able to go wherever you want and not have to be tethered to any particular area or hotel. You could stay in one city for a couple of nights and then take a drive to the other side of the island for a couple of nights.

Attending the Rugby World Cup 2011 might be a dream come true for many people. However, there is a lot more to see in New Zealand if you take the time to look. With the great variety of campervan parks and holiday parks located around the country, it isn't hard to find powered accommodations for your campervan during your holiday, either. All that you need to do is choose what size and type of campervan you want and where you want to pick it up and drop it off. Beyond that, it's going to be a daily adventure for you and those who you are travelling with.

Whether you are coming to town for the Rugby World Cup 2011 or just for a family holiday, campervan hire can be the perfect solution to your travel and accommodation needs. Rather than renting a car, finding bus tours, and being tied down to one hotel or accommodation in one particular location, you can just drive wherever you want and do as you please, parking for the night as you come upon the many holiday parks that New Zealand has to offer. - Rubgy World Cup 2011 Motorhome / Campervan Rentals in New Zealand. David and his team are dedicated to helping you make an informed choice when selecting a vehicle that best suits your needs during your New Zealand holiday. We consistently update information about individual companies regarding specials and incentives to help you make the best decision when booking the campervan rental or holiday park of your choice.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Some real crunching Rugby Tackles

Buying some new Rugby boots online

Hey - just been looking for some Rugby boots for my son. Believe it or not he has been ripped at school for wearing Rugby studs for football - you what!!!

Anyway I thought I'l upgrade my blogg with this item of buying Rugby boots

It can be tricky when buying a new pair of rugby boots online. The main reason for this is probably obvious, that you don't get to try them first before making the purchase. Although most marketplaces on the Internet do give the choice of returning the item, why not just avoid the hassle by getting it right off the bat. Here are a few things to consider when making your purchase.

Low cut boots, the most common?

High cut boots on professional players these days is a pretty rare thing to see. For the second row players, this is a great option. Superb ankle support is offered, which is critical for balance. But seeing how much added comfort the low cut boots give, a lot of second row players go this route. If you're playing in the tight five, high cut boots are definitely worth testing out. But just remember, they are much more bulky and really not ideal for backs.

Studs, and how many?

You need to consider mainly where you play most commonly and the conditions of weather when deciding how many studs you will get on your boots. Much like soccer, the more and the longer the studs are, the more efficient they are in wet weather conditions. That being said, the less and shorter the studs are the more efficient they are on the opposite dry conditions. Keep in mind you need a pair for both conditions, unless you want terrible support for your ankles and to be extremely uncomfortable if wearing the wrong pair.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Learning Rugby Union the early stages

At first glance, rugby can appear a confusing and complicated game. Many object to their family and friends becoming too engrossed in watching the sport on TV purely because they do not know enough about the game to follow play well enough. Look further into it and it becomes clear that rugby is an exciting and well structured sport which is a pleasure to watch. What initially appears to be a game that is quite random, actually its quite complex.
Ruby is currently played in over 120 countries and it is rich in tradition and community involvement. You often find that the skill is passed down through generations and families tend to be committed the sport throughout many years.
Children may start to play rugby through the non-contact version. This allows them to perfect their skills and knowledge of the game without the physical strain of the contact version. It is still important however that you ensure your child has adequate rugby protection even if they are playing the non-contact version of the game as it is still quite physically demanding and there is always the chance of injury if they are not protected. With children as young as six enjoying the game you will want to ensure they have the correct rugby protection.
When your child moves onto a senior rugby club they will begin to experience the camaraderie that distinguishes this sport from many others. Rugby truly is a team sport with every member of the team playing an important part with recognisable skill. By including your son or daughter in the sport of rugby you all helping them develop an important part of themselves through becoming part of a team. Many schools offer the opportunity to participate in the sport of rugby and as long as your child has adequate rugby protection, they will be allowed to participate.
While you can continue playing rugby well into your adult years, very few move on to become professional rugby players. You may find that it suits you best to become a coach or referee or even volunteer for a local school or club in order to carry on your passion for the sport.
If you take the time to watch a game of ruby and look beyond the seeming disorganisation of players in their rugby protection running around with the strangely shaped ball, you will find a sport that has a continuous flow and constant competition. It is very calculated and precise and takes a lot of skill. Points are scored throughout the game through carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball and the team scoring the most points becomes the victor.
So next time you are watching TV at the weekend and come across the sport of rugby, you may want to take a moment to watch and think about how it is a community sport that encourages commitment and team work. Beyond the rugby equipment and dirty uniforms lies a sport of history and values that add to our neighbourhoods and homes in a very positive way.
Established in 1973, Morrant Group Ltd is a family run business with over 35 years experience in mail order team sports equipment. Father, Daughter, Son and staff are working hard every day to ensure that our company achieves its aim. We sell a range of sports gear, including rugby protection and goods. Please visit our website at

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Learning The Game

Most budding rugby players are introduced to the sport either at school or at a local rugby club. Tag rugby and touch rugby are the most popular forms of the game for children as they promote key skills such as passing, scoring, movement and tactical awareness while the rules do not permit full contact

Progression is important within rugby. Most players view the non-contact forms of the game as a stepping stone towards the 15-a-side full-contact version, but for those who enjoy the tag, touch or beach variations, there are competitions and leagues dedicated to fulfilling the needs of enthusiasts.

During the course of an 80-minute match, two sides of 15 players and six substitutes, officiated by a referee and two touch judges, try to outscore each other. The game lasts for two 40-minute halves on a grass pitch with an H-shaped goal post at each end.