Physical Demands of Amateur Senior Domestic Rugby Union Players Over One Round of Competition Matches in New Zealand Assessed Using Heart Rate and Movement Analysis
To describe the physical demands of senior domestic amateur rugby union using microtechnology. A cohort descriptive study was conducted to collect data from a senior domestic amateur rugby union team over one round of competition matches (n = 13) using heart rate and microtechnology data. Total distance, maximal velocity, Player Load ((PL) accumulated accelerometer-derived load), Two-Dimensional (medio-lateral and anterior-posterior) PL (2DPL), low speed activities (<2 m.s-1) (PLSLOW) and individual PL vectors (PL forward (PLF), PL sideward (PLS) and PL vertical (PLV)) were examined. Analyses by playing player position, player group were conducted. Outside-backs recorded a higher mean distance (5,880 ± 1,979 m) per match than front-row-forwards (χ2 = 5.1; p = 0.0243; z = -2.0; p = 0.0448; d = 0.45). Forwards recorded a higher PLSLOW (F(65,65) = 2.9; p<0.0001; d = 0.06) but had a lower PLF (F(59,71) = 6.3 p < 0.0001; d = 0.08), PLS (F(66,64) = 3.0; p < 0.0001; d = 0.08) and PLV (F(68,62) = .9; p < 0.0001; d = 0.25) when compared with backs. Given the similarities in the physical and physiological profi le of individual positions, it is likely that players at this level undertake more generalised training regimes that fail to prepare them for higher levels of competition. Further, players may benefi t from the incorporation of positional specifi c training in order to afford each playing position the opportunity to develop game-specifi c physical qualities.