Anthropometric and Physical Positional Differences in International Level Female Sevens Athletes




Agar-Newman, Dana

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The purpose of this study was to profile international level female sevens athletes and determine if anthropometric and physical qualities are able to differentiate between backs and forwards. Twenty-four subjects with a mean (±SD) age of 22.75±3.99 years and body weight of 69.36±5.21kg were sampled from the national team training program. Anthropometric measures (height, body mass and sum of 7 skinfolds) and performance measures (power clean, front squat, bench press, neutral grip pull up, 40m sprint and 1600m run) were collected across the 2013-2014 centralized period and compared across playing position. Thirteen backs (mean age±SD= 21.28±3.54 years) and eleven forwards (mean age±SD= 24.47±3.95 years) had significant differences in body mass (66.40±3.48kg vs. 72.87±4.79kg) and initial sprint momentum (366.81±19.83kg*m/s vs.399.24±22.42*m/s). However no other measures showed positional differences. It is possible that the lack of positional differences in female rugby sevens is due to the multifarious physical requirements of a sevens player, leading to a generic player profile or perhaps due to a lack of selective pressure. It is also possible that the anthropometric and physical qualities measured in this study lacked the necessary resolution or failed to capture the unique attributes of each position. In conclusion, this is the first research profiling international level female sevens athletes. The normative data presented within this paper highlights the physical requirements of female sevens athletes for strength and conditioning practitioners. In addition, the lack of positional differences discovered should impact training program design.



rugby, speed, strength, running, backs, forwards