Force production in the rugby union scrum

J Sports Sci. 2000 Apr;18(4):237-46. doi: 10.1080/026404100364974.


In this study, we examined the relationship between anthropometric, strength and power characteristics of rugby forwards, their body position when scrummaging, and their ability to apply force when scrummaging. Force applied to an instrumented scrum machine was measured for 56 players, both individually and as scrum packs. Measurements of body position for individuals were made by digitizing videotape records of the trials. Forty players subsequently had their anthropometry assessed and completed several strength and power tests. Body mass, each component of somatotype, maximal anaerobic power developed on a cycle ergometer, and isokinetic knee extension strength correlated significantly with individual scrummaging force. A regression model (P < 0.001) including body mass, mesomorphy, maximal anaerobic power and hip angle while in the scrummaging position accounted for 45% of the variance in individual scrummaging force. The packs that produced the largest scrummaging forces were, in general, characterized by a greater pack force to sum of individual force ratio than the packs producing lower forces. Our results emphasize the need for a scrum pack to develop technique and coordination as a unit to maximize scrummaging force.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Compressive Strength
  • Football / physiology*
  • Hand Strength / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Tensile Strength