Rugby is a tough physical game and you need to prepare yourself both physically and mentally to make the most of what is a very rewarding game. There are some core rugby skills that every player, regardless of position, or level should work on.
Because of the shear physicality of rugby, it is hard to be effective at any level without at least a basic level of fitness. Surviving on the field for 80 minutes is hard slog if you haven't prepared yourself before the season. Good off season training should involve going for a run. You want to be running at least 5 km's by the time the season starts. Other general fitness exercises are useful as well, anything that gets the heart going...cycling, walking, swimming, rowing machine etc. It is good vary your fitness training to work different muscle groups and to keep yourself interested.
Every position on the field requires you to have some core ball skills, some more so that others. It is hard to work on ball skills by yourself, however, there is always some skills you can work on regardless of how many mates you have to practice with. There is a good variety of grid drills which you can work on if you have others to work with. If you don't then you might need to get a bit creative. Kicking up and unders to yourself or practicing line out throws against a wall may make you feel silly, but you will benefit greatly for your efforts.
A strong physical player has an advantage in rugby. You need to work on your strength. Weight training is the best way to improve your strength. I won't go into exercises, however, players in different positions will benefit from different exercises.
Obviously this is more important for backs, and loose forwards, but players in any position will benefit from extra speed. You can work on this by doing sprint drills. I often hear comments like, I am a big fatty, and I'm never going to be any faster". However, if you look at the science of sprinting, players can develop muscle memory, and over time improve their speed if they work on it.
The more you put into your training, the more you will get out of your game. Off season is the best time to start. Get going.
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