Kinanthropometry of Group I rugby players in Buenos Aires, Argentina

J Sports Sci. 2009 Sep;27(11):1211-20. doi: 10.1080/02640410903207408.


The large variability in size and structure between playing positions in rugby merits specific kinanthropometric profiling. We aim to report detailed descriptive anthropometric data of a sample of 133 rugby players stratified by field positions (age 24.3 +/- 3.6 years, body mass 89.5 +/- 13.2 kg, and stature 178.8 +/- 7.3 cm) belonging to seven Group I teams competing in the Buenos Aires Rugby Union, and to find out if front row forwards (FR) have larger muscle and skeletal parameters. Body composition was analysed with the five-way fractionation method, expressing tissue masses in absolute terms, relative to weight as percentages and to stature as phantom z-scores. Furthermore, somatotype, body mass index, sum of six skinfolds, and muscle-to-bone ratio were calculated. Players were subsequently grouped into three positional clusters and muscular-skeletal elements compared, showing FR to have larger proportional muscle and skeletal structure than remaining forwards and backs (P < 0.001), albeit a similar muscle-to-bone ratio (P = 0.060). When compared to a sample of the top six teams at the 2003 Rugby World Cup, the Buenos Aires players were considerably smaller, measuring, on average, 3-11 cm less in height and 6-13 kg less in weight.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anthropometry
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Body Composition*
  • Football / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Somatotypes*
  • Young Adult