Using anthropometric and performance characteristics to predict selection in junior UK Rugby League players

Kevin Till, Steve Cobley, John O'Hara, Amy Brightmore, Carlton Cooke, Chris Chapman

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    106 Citations (Scopus)


    Research examining the factors influencing selection within talented junior Rugby League players is limited. The aims of this study were firstly to determine whether differences existed for anthropometric and performance characteristics between regional and national selection in high performance UK junior Rugby League players, and secondly to identify variables that discriminated between these selection levels. Regional representative (n=1172) selected junior players (aged 13-16 years) undertook an anthropometric and fitness testing battery with players split according to selection level (i.e., national, regional). MANCOVA analyses, with age and maturation controlled, identified national players as having lower sum of 4 skinfolds scores compared to regional players, and also performed significantly better on all physical tests. Stepwise discriminant analysis identified that estimated maximum oxygen uptake (V̇O2max), chronological age, body mass, 20. m sprint, height, sum of 4 skinfolds and sitting height discriminated between selection levels, accounting for 28.7% of the variance. This discriminant analysis corresponded to an overall predictive accuracy of 63.3% for all players. These results indicate that performance characteristics differed between selection levels in junior Rugby League players. However, the small magnitude of difference between selection levels suggests that physical qualities only partially explain higher representative selection. The monitoring and evaluation of such variables, alongside game related performance characteristics, provides greater knowledge and understanding about the processes and consequences of selection, training and performance in youth sport.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)264-269
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2011


    • Homogenous
    • Identification
    • Maturation
    • Talent


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