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England Anaerobic Endurance Test

Argentina players run through sprint drills during training

Photo: Getty Images

These tests are designed to measure rugby specific anaerobic performance (in terms of distances and times of work) – i.e. the ability to repeat bouts of high intensity activity with short recovery periods. There are two separate tests, one test for forwards, and one test for backs.

Test Criteria

  • Total time taken to complete the test
  • The fatigue index between first and last repetitions
  • Players with higher levels of anaerobic endurance will show faster overall completion times for the test
  • Players with excellent speed will show good times for the first repetitions but may show slower times overall and a higher fatigue index. It is perfectly acceptable for the time for the first repetition to be quicker than the last. This test is all about starting with 100% intensity, rather than saving energy through the test and putting in a sprint finish


  • Marking tape
  • Measuring tape
  • Four tall marking poles for each lane of the forward’s test, and five for each lane of the back’s test
  • Stop watches – one per tester and one as a running clock
  • Recording sheets (MS Word DOC 85kB) 
  • One rugby pitch

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