Rugby union, 13, 7: player roles - teenflixsports

Rugby positions 15 (Union), 13 (League), 7 (Seven) Player roles

Did you know about the importance of rugby positions and the relationship that the shirts have with the position of each player? As you may already know, rugby is a contact sport, but not everyone knows the role of the players in the different types of games. Whether in  rugby 15 , rugby 13 and rugby 7 , it is important that you know in detail the function of the forwards and the backs and how they are aligned within the match.

Since rugby is played at an international level on all continents, there have been different technical differences in the mode of play. Therefore there are changes in the positions in rugby 15 (Union) unlike rugby 13 (League) and rugby 7 (Sevens) .

Despite the different game types, the basic essence of playing it by lining up the positions of the forwards and the backs has been maintained. In other words, rugby has adapted to make it easier to play and therefore has had a strong degree of development on all continents. Especially in the nations that make up the British Isles.

Below we explain the differences in rugby positions so that you know the role each player has within the match depending on the game mode.


  • Rugby positions
  • Rugby forwards – roles of forward players
  • Positions in rugby 15 or rugby union
  • Rugby backs – three quarter player roles
  • Positions in rugby 13 or Rugby League
  • Positions in rugby 7s or Sevens

Rugby positions

The rugby positions in rugby 15 teams are made up of two lines that make up the 15 players. The number they wear determines their position on the field. The players from 1 to 8 are called forwards (forwards) and form the pack (players who get into the scrum). Players 9 through 15 are called backs (three-quarter line).

The forwards or strikers, also referred to as the "forwards pack" or front line, are eight players, located in the front area of ​​the team. In general they are the biggest and heaviest players as well. These have the functions of disputing the scrum (scrum) and the side kicks (line out).

Rugby forwards – roles of forward players

Forwards are the rugby positions of the heaviest players on the team. It is the line that goes to the clash in the scrum against the rival. They make up the first line and are specialists in catching the ball and colliding with the opposing player.

The forwards are located in three lines: the first line is made up of two pillars and a hooker or heeler. In the middle; the second line is made up of two players. And the third line is made up of three players , with the eighth in the middle, flanked by two wings or flankers.

Positions in rugby 15 or rugby union

Props 1 and 3 – Their main role is to set the scrum and provide power to lift and support the jumpers at the lineout. They also act as pivots in rucks and mauls in the rugby 15 positions . They must also have Upper Body Strength to provide stability to the scrum, stamina and mobility.

Hooker or Talona – Has two unique roles in the match: he is the main player for the forwards who gains possession in the scrum and is usually the one who takes the throw-in at the lineout. His role is to have a lot of power to withstand the physical force of the first line combined with speed between players to move on the field of play and good shooting technique.

Second rows 4 and 5 – Their role is to get the ball at lineouts and restarts. They generate forward momentum in scrums , rucks and mauls by providing an attacking platform. They must be tall. The second rows are the giants of the team and combine their physique with good ball-catching skills and mobility. They are very important within rugby positions .

Flankers: 6 and 7- Their key objective is to win possession through opponent turnovers, using physical strength in the tackle and speed in the contact zones of the forwards .

They must make powerful tackles and a fearless inclination to win the ball. A combination of speed, power, endurance and handling.

Number 8 – Their role is to secure possession at the base of the scrum, move the ball in open play, liaise between the forwards and backs in attacking phases and defend aggressively. They must have a lot of power and pace over short distances.

Rugby backs – three quarter player roles

The backs , are the rugby positions of defenders or defenders, they are seven players from three quarters that are located in the rear area of ​​the team. In general they are the most agile and fastest players on the team.

Scrum half   9 – He is the backs player who directs the forwards and is in charge of supplying the balls to the backs. He is a player who has to have very good technique to be able to execute passes with precision. Explosiveness and speed. He is the rugby player who throws the ball into the scrum.

Fly Half 10 –  He is the leader of the attack of the backs . He is the first player to start the play and stands out for having tactics in his head. Plus they also turn into a lot of plays on the first defender to get to the play. Skillful and explosive. He usually has the best technique with his foot.

15 Defender (Full back) –  player who has to stand out for his position. He has to be a great tackler and be able to support with speed on attacking plays. In addition, the defender usually has good power and precision to be able to clear danger with his foot.

The centers in the defense of rugby

First Center 12 – He is a powerful attacking player who has the ability to penetrate opposing defences. Good technique with hands and feet to specify passes and kicks. He also has to be strong and tough to tackle his rivals.

Second center 13 – Like the first center (12) the second center performs with the same characteristics as powerful attacking players with good technique with their hands and feet.

Rugby backs in wings position

Right wing 14 –  (Right wing) – Very fast player who can execute the counterattack perfectly. It is opportune and they have to look for new positions in the different phases of attack and defense. Good technique for the pass and good execution with the feet to be able to create dangerous plays.

Left wing 11 – (Left wing) – He is the fastest player within rugby positions who can execute the counterattack perfectly. The left wing is opportune and has to look for new positions in the different phases of attacking and defending the backs . Good technique for the pass and good execution with the feet to be able to create dangerous plays.

Positions in rugby 13 or Rugby League

A variant of rugby positions , the rules of which differ in part to their functions . It was called rugby league ( rugby 13 ). In reference to the league championship in which the clubs that paid their players faced each other. From England it went to some countries of the cultural sphere and British influence (Australia, New Zealand), as well as France.

Origin and history of rugby 13

It was in the year of 1895 when the Lancashire and Yorkshire clubs wanted their players to be compensated for lost work. The RFU was against any form of professionalism and therefore the northern clubs formed the Northern Union. The RFU's amateur game was known as rugby union and the Northern Union game was called rugby league ( rugby 13 ). Over the years, both games developed by changing separately with various changes to rules, playing positions, and regulations. Finally, the Rugby 15 Football Union adopted professionalism in 1995.

Differences from rugby 13 to rugby 15

Here the positions in rugby change because 13 players take the field, not 15. And there are 4 substitutes and not 8. Unlike rugby 15s, in rugby league rucks are not formed to challenge for the ball after a tackle. Instead, the tackled player delivers the ball to a teammate by rolling it on the ground, while the rivals must move back.

There is no "line" when the ball leaves the field on the wings. If the ball crosses the limits of the field of play, it is replaced with a scrum thrown by the team that should replace it from the band.

There are other differences when playing with two less players , because they cover less area on the field, the development of the match varies with some rules. That is to say that there are changes in the score, in drop goals, penalties and more. For example possession. In rugby 15 , a team can keep the ball for as long as they want and can. However, in rugby league 13 , each team can only be tackled six times before handing over possession.

Rugby union is generally seen as a middle-class game, while rugby league is seen more as a working-class sport. This is particularly the case in the UK, New Zealand and Australia.

Rugby 13 – Game dimensions

Rugby (union) pitches have a maximum size of 144m x 70m, while rugby 13 (league) pitches can have a maximum size of 122m x 68m. Despite these slight differences, they can be played on the same fields by sharing stadiums.

Positions in rugby 7s or Sevens

The rugby sevens game format is normally played in short tournaments. That is to say, it is necessary to modify the rugby positions due to the few players that compete. Therefore the composition of the teams of 15 and 7 is different, in rugby 15 there are eight 'forwards' and seven 'backs' and in rugby 7  there are three forwards and four backs.

In other words, the forwards are made up of left prop 1, hooker 2, and right prop 3. While the backs are made up of scrum half 4, midfielder 5, center 6, and wing 7.

In addition, the same field is used as in the 15-man modality, but with only 7 players per team. They only have 5 reserves of which they can make 3 replacements.

Rugby 7 and rugby 15 differences

  • The match is divided into two times that last between seven (normal matches) and ten minutes (finals).
  • The expulsions last 2 minutes, and not 10 as in Rugby 15 .
  • The scrums are made up of three players per team.
  • Conversions can only be made by overkick kicks.
  • After the goal has been scored, the restart kick is taken by the team that scored, unlike in rugby 15s.
  • Infringements on kickoffs and restarts are not subject to the option of the non-offending team: they are always penalized by a free kick.

Rugby 7, Olympic Sport

Rugby was excluded from the Olympics. The main problem was that one of its regulations requires players to have a 7-day rest period between matches. Since the Games have an official duration of 16 days, it would be impossible to hold a tournament within the framework of the Games.

That is why the inclusion of rugby 7 was proposed , since the matches have a shorter duration and the international tournaments in which up to 16 teams participate are held in just one weekend.

Currently, rugby 7 has been accepted as an Olympic sport since 2016, after being excluded due to its poor functionality and played as rugby 15 . In addition, there is currently a Rugby 7 World Championship .