Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scientists determine the best way to win at Rugby

What does it take to be a world champion at a sport? Some might say that it's years of dedication and training, but according to a new scientific paper, sheer physical mass might have a lot to do with it — especially in the bruise-laden sport of Rugby.

For those of you who don't follow Rugby Football — be it Union or League — the team is divided into two groups: the forwards and the backs. There are further specifics, like props, hookers, and whatnot, but now's not the time nor place. A new piece of research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the sheer size of the team members has a lot to do with their victories, but so too their experience.

The researchers complied data on 20 years of Rugby World Cup players, some 2692 athletes, and looked at their height, weight, and previous experience in the tournament. What they found was a distinct physical advantage that translated to more victories. On average, more successful players weighed 2kg above the counterparts, especially amongst the forwards. For the backs, height made a key difference, with the more victorious players generally sitting around 2cm taller.


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