With 15 players on each team, everyone has a different role to play in a game of rugby. The team is usually split into two, eight forwards and seven backs. Let’s take a look at the different roles the forwards and backs play and how they use their size, strength, speed and other abilities and qualities to get the ball moving forward and make for successful rugby players.
The great thing about rugby is that there is a need for all sizes, shapes and physical abilities. If you want it, you'll achieve it. That simple. Take a look at South African Faf de Klerk, a diminitive 1.72m/5'7" scrumhalf with a heart of a lion. Every game he plays he is the smallest player on the field, but he is ready to take on players twice his size! It is true that due to his size and stature, scrumhalf is probably his best position, and smaller kids who start up would commence there and probably also try some other backline positions.
Conversely, let's take a quick look at New Zealander Brodie Retallik, a giant of a man at 2.04m/6'8"/120kgs/270lbs. He was always going to end up as a lock/second row, but a younger "Brodie-type" most likely also tried 8th man as well and/or flanker.
And everything between! But one thing is non-negotiable: Rugby is a team sport that requires all 15 players to participate in both offense and defense. Thus, all rugby players must learn the basic skills of catching and passing the ball, running with the ball, tackling, and rucking.
Of course, some areas of the game require specialized training and skills. Generally speaking, players will learn and practice these specialized skills as either a forward unit or a back unit. Take a look at our drop-down list to the left to get a good understanding of each position.