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Before playing Rugby, there is a series of checks which should be undertaken to ensure a player is Rugby Ready.

A Rugby Ready player will:

  • have the physical attributes and have attained the necessary level of fitness for their level of play
  • have sufficient technical skill and ability for the grade at which they are playing
  • have been fully rehabilitated from any previous injuries and will not be predisposed to serious injury
  • be familiar with the Laws of the Game and what constitutes foul play
  • have been assessed for readiness through player profiling

Player profiling is an established method of assessing players’ readiness to play Rugby. A good profile will help coaches ascertain if a player is Rugby Ready. Profiling should take place before pre-season training starts and when new players join the squad. It should then be repeated at intervals throughout the season.

The profile should ask for information on the following areas:

  • personal contact and next of kin details
  • medical history (including details of any medication taken)
  • cardiac questionnaire
  • lifestyle and fitness information
  • history of injury
  • previous exposure to Rugby

Special attention should be given to:

  • age grade (U19 and below) players, e.g. physique, skill, fitness, etc
  • all new players
  • players with pre-existing injuries
  • any player with a history of concussion
  • front row players with a history of, or any previous, neck injury
  • older players who may have degenerative conditions

As well as coach-led profiling, a physical assessment by a doctor, physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach or sports trainer could be undertaken. This assessment could test for:

  • functional ability
  • speed
  • balance
  • flexibility
  • aerobic endurance
  • anaerobic endurance
  • physical abnormalities, e.g., biomechanical

Strength and conditioning coaches should only conduct assessments that they are competent in administering, in line with their Union’s protocols.

An example of a player profile form is available for download at: rugbyready.worldrugby.org/downloads