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.
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