Match Participation and Movement Demands in Amateur Domestic Women’s Rugby Union in New Zealand
Hume, P; King, D; Clark, T; Foskett, A; Barnes, M
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Objective To describe the movement analysis and heart rate data of amateur domestic women’s rugby union match activities. Design Prospective cohort study. Methods Data were collected from 69 amateur female club level rugby union players over two consecutive seasons, using heart rate and microtechnology devices. Total distance, maximum velocity, Player Load ([PL] accumulated accelerometer-derived load), and individual PL vectors (PL forward [PLF], PL sideward [PLS] and PL vertical (PLV]), speed zones and heart rate variables were examined. Analysis by player position, player group, matches won and lost, and years of competition were conducted. Conclusions The results of this study suggest that the physical and physiological profiles of the playing positional groups at the amateur, domestic club level of women’s rugby union were similar (but not the mean distance covered) and may be suggestive of generalised, rather than specialised, training regimes that fail to prepare players for higher levels of competition. Amateur women’s rugby union may benefit from the incorporation of positional specific training that would provide forward playing positions with the opportunity to develop collision and contact abilities, while concurrently allowing backs a greater opportunity to train their high intensity running capacity.