Rugby Ready - World Rugby's preparation resource

Physical conditioning

Improving your fitness can make you a better player and less prone to injury. For players, coaches and those who design physical conditioning programmes for Rugby players, you need to have a general understanding of the key components of fitness and also the specific physiological demands of the Game.

What follows is a brief introduction to the area of physical conditioning for Rugby. If you would like more detailed information, please register for and complete World Rugby’s online Level 1 Strength and Conditioning programme at

What are the components of physical conditioning?

Speed is the ability to coordinate simple or complex limb movements at high velocity.
Strength is the maximum force an individual can exert through a muscle or group of muscles, against an external resistance.
Endurance is a measure of the body’s ability to maintain a rate of work.
Functional competence is the extent to which a player has good stability and mobility during movements related to the game.
Power = Speed x Strength.

In Rugby, all players require a degree of each of these components, but the relative importance of each component will vary according to a player’s playing position.