Comparison Of Fitness Characteristics Between Men's And Women's Rugby Sevens Players

David B. Pyne, Dean G. Higham, Anthea Clarke, John A Mitchell, Anthony Eddy

Research output: Contribution to conference (non-published works)Abstractpeer-review


Both Men’s and Women’s Rugby Sevens have been added to the program for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but little is known about the comparative fitness requirements. PURPOSE: To determine magnitudes of difference, and degree of variability, in standard anthropometric and fitness characteristics of national level men and women Rugby Sevens players. METHODS: National Sevens squad players (males n=32, age 22 ± 3 years; height 1.82 ± 0.06 m; mass 90 ± 8 kg; females n=32, age 25 ± 6 years, height 1.68 ± 0.06 m; mass 70 ± 9 kg; mean ± SD) age were tested during routine training camps. All testing was conducted indoors on a synthetic running track after instruction, warm-up and familiarization with each test protocol. Each player completed a 40 m maximal sprint test, standing vertical jump and the YoYo Intermittent Recovery Level 1 (YoYo-IRL1) tests. Difference in mean scores between male and female players were expressed as a percentage, and variability as a ratio of the coefficients of variation (CV). RESULTS: Male players had ∼40% more lean mass and 40% lower skinfolds than the women. Speed (40 m sprint time and maximal running velocity Vmax) was only ∼10-20% faster for the Men, while lower body power and momentum (mass × Vmax) were 40-50% higher in Men. The most marked difference was in endurance capacity (YoYo distance covered) where the Men (2260 ± 270 m; mean ± SD) were ∼two-fold better on the YoYo-IRL1 than Women (990 ± 320 m; mean difference ± 90% confidence limits of 1234 ± 184 m). The Women were more than twice as variable (ratio of CV <0.4) in endurance fitness than the Men. CONCLUSION: Women Rugby Sevens players should focus conditioning programs on power, size and endurance to improve these aspects of fitness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


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