Workloads of forward and backline adolescent rugby players: a pilot study


Background: There is minimal research on workloads of adolescent rugby players. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to determine the workloads placed on a cohort of South African adolescent rugby players (n = 17), during an in- season period.

Methods: Session RPE ratings were collected daily, 30 minutes after the training session concluded, during an 11-week in- season period. The training load was calculated as the session ratings of perceived exertion multiplied by the session’s duration (min).

Results: The main finding of the study was that the adolescents in this investigation had similar workloads to elite players but higher workloads than other studies on adolescent rugby players. The forwards (3311±939 arbitrary units; AU) had a higher workload than backline players (2851±1080 AU). There was no difference between forwards and backline players with regards to the acute:chronic workload ratio.

Conclusion: Workloads are high in these adolescent players, particularly in the forwards, and are similar to the workloads of elite level rugby players.

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