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Wales number 8 Andy Powell breaks the Australian tackles

Photo: Getty Images

Support play, tackling and ball-carrying are the No.8’s areas of expertise, making his or her duties similar to the two flankers. Together the trio forms a unit called the back row.

Binding on right at the back of the scrum, the No.8 is also the only player from the forwards who is allowed to pick the ball up from the base of the scrum.

It is a move that is often used to gain vital yards when a team is scrummaging close to the opposition try line, and for it to be truly effective the No.8 must be an explosive, dynamic runner.

Key Abilities

Strength, stamina, power, positional awareness

Famous No.8s

Lawrence Dallaglio (England and Lions), Zinzan Brooke (New Zealand), Mervyn Davies (Wales and Lions), Morne du Plessis (South Africa), Brian Lochore (New Zealand).


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