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Lawrence Dallaglio of England trains with team mate Joe Worsley in the gym

Photo: Getty Images

Rugby is a multi-faceted sport requiring a high degree of all-round fitness. The fitness pages of this website provide information for players who wish to improve their rugby conditioning by using the same key principles used by England’s elite players.

The fitness demands and training requirements for any player will depend on the position he plays and the level and age of the team that he plays for. Players should also coordinate any training schedules with their team coach.

The term "he" is used throughout this section to refer to players, but girls and women play rugby in increasing numbers and can also benefit from the following fitness and nutrition advice. Women and girls will however have different fitness benchmark levels to their male counterparts.

Developing your training

A player in his early teens should aim to develop a good level of general fitness. Then, as the player gets older, he should specialise in rugby-specific and later, position-specific fitness. Improvements in fitness will be aimed at improving the player’s performance on the field and also at helping the player to become more resistant to injury by reducing fatigue and strengthening the most susceptible areas of the body.

This emphasis on injury prevention will help to prevent traumatic (acute) injury and avoid longer-term (chronic) injuries that may be caused by muscle imbalance or repeated movements causing wear and tear.