Rugby requires incredible amounts of stamina, agility and lightning pace. The reason for that is, offense has to make the play and defense has to break the play. Filling any position in rugby is not an easy task. The entire idea is to get the possession of the ball and you shall be repeatedly called upon for that. Well, there are some positions which might get more limelight than others, but you have to remember that this is a team game. Without the synchronized efforts of entire team, you will not succeed. This fact is known by all (even by those who are considered as superstars by all others), in the game of rugby as well as American football, which are intriguingly similar.
In this article, I shall try to meticulously explain the various rugby positions, which are again quite similar to American football positions. This article will be most helpful for a beginner. My intention for the reader through this article is to have fun as well as educational experience about the beautiful game of rugby.
Props and Hookers
The front row is like a large boiling pot which does the job of providing foundations for every play. Anyone who plays in the front row is typically characterized for having brute strength. They are also characterized for having broken noses and missing teeth as well! Ironically, longevity is the mark of such players and you will observe that experience and intelligence are inherently present.
The Second Row
This row typically requires people with strong legs. The second row athlete, also known as the lock forward, is tall and very strong. Mobility is not expected, but if the lock forward has it, this becomes a big advantage. The power and the strength of the lock forward comes in very handy during scrummage. (Scrummage is the method of beginning play in which the forwards of each team crouch side by side with locked arms. Play starts when the ball is thrown in between them and the two sides compete for possession of the ball.)
The Loose Forwards
They comprise number 8 and other flankers (amusingly, 'number 8' does not have any other English name). The loose forwards are known for their agility and speed. The loose forwards have to defend and do all the support work for the forwards. They have to also participate in scrummage, whenever it is required of them.
The Scrum Half
The scrum half athlete is someone who provides the ball to the players behind. The job of the scrum half requires him to get dirty with other people in the scrummage.
The Flyhalf needs to have a very good vision, amazing hand-eye coordination and superb kicking ability. The flybacks are the on-field strategist of the team. Many times there are such situations where you would feel the need to divert from main pre-decided strategy; the flybacks are always instrumental in such decision-making. Often, the forwards of the opponent team attack the flybacks as they feel that flyback is comparatively an easy target. But it is understood that flybacks would not let the opponents get the best of them.
The athletes with good instinct fit this position. They are also very good tacklers. These guys are back-up to every position. A center needs to be agile, fast, quick thinker, strategist and always ready to scrum down with the opponent team.
The Wingers and the Fullbacks
These guys are supposed to have excellent striking ability. They are responsible for fast counter attack and good many number of tries on touchdown. These guys have a flair for catching the high ball. Most often these guys prance and preen in the middle of the game, but they do have very high respect for rugby rules.
Exact positions and responsibilities may vary according to the strategy. Be it defensive position or offensive position, importance of any rugby position cannot be understated. Hope the rugby positions explained in this article proves to be of help to people who wanted the details of this game or wanted to learn it.