Match-play demands and anthropometric characteristics of national and international women’s, fifteen-a-side rugby union: a systematic scoping review

Christopher Curtis, Scott Mitchell, Mark Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

An increased professionalisation within women’s 15-a-side rugby union (R15s) has prompted greater sports science support and a need to better understand demands of the sport. Online database (PubMed, MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus) searches were performed according to the PRISMA Scoping Review protocol. Studies were eligible if match-play demands or anthropometric characteristics of women’s R15s players were investigated. After calibration exercises, the lead and senior authors independently quality-assessed each study. A total of 1,068 studies were identified, 15 of which met study criteria. Mean total match-play distance covered was 5378±626 m (Forwards: 5188±667 m, Backs: 5604±609 m), with first half values exceeding second half (2922±87 m vs. 2876±115 m). Mean relative distance RD (72.0 m∙min-1) was greater than their male counterparts (64.2 m∙min-1–68.2 m∙min-1). Backs were exposed to more severe collisions compared to Forwards (6±1 vs. 5±4). Work:rest ratios ranged between 1.0:0.7–1.0:0.9. Regarding anthropometric characteristics, mean lean and fat mass was reported as 51.9±5.2 kg and 18.6±4.6 kg, respectively. Mean body fat percentage was 24.7±5.4 %. Mean bone mineral density and bone mineral content was 1.27±0.04 g∙cm-2 and 3.07±0.2 kg, respectively. This scoping review summarizes the current evidence base and key findings relating to the match-play demands and anthropometric characteristics that can be used in practice to inform player welfare and sport science support to women’s R15s players at a national and international standard. Numerous gaps in our understanding of how best to develop and optimize performance, physical demands and anthropometric characteristics of women’s R15s players remain.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e569-e580
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume37
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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