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We know they train, but what do they do? Implications for coaches working with adolescent rugby union players

Phibbs, P and Jones, B and Roe, G and Read, D and Darrall-Jones, J and Weakley, JJ and Till, K (2017) We know they train, but what do they do? Implications for coaches working with adolescent rugby union players. International Journal of Sports Science and Coaching, 12 (2). pp. 175-182. ISSN 1747-9541

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Abstract

Limited information is available regarding the training loads (TLs) of adolescent rugby union players. One-hundred and seventy male players (age 16.1 ± 1.0 years) were recruited from ten teams representing two age categories (under-16 and under-18) and three playing standards (school, club and academy). Global positioning systems, accelerometers, heart rate and session-rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE) methods were used to quantify mean session TLs. Session demands differed between age categories and playing standards. Under-18 academy players were exposed to the highest session TLs in terms of s-RPE (236 ± 42 AU), total distance (4176 ± 433 m), high speed running (1270 ± 288 m) and PlayerLoadTM (424 ± 56 AU). Schools players had the lowest session TLs in both respective age categories. Training loads and intensities increased with age and playing standard. Individual monitoring of TL is key to enable coaches to maximise player development and minimise injury risk.

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