A Comparison of the Match Demands of International and Provincial Rugby Sevens

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015 Sep;10(6):786-90. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0213. Epub 2014 Oct 13.


Purpose: To compare the running demands and match activity profiles of international and provincial rugby sevens players.

Participants: 84 rugby sevens players, consisting of 16 international players from 1 team and 68 provincial players from 8 teams.

Methods: Global positioning system analysis was completed during international and provincial tournament matches. Video analysis was also used to quantify the individual match activities during tournament matches.

Results: Trivial to moderate differences were found in the running demands of international and provincial players, with internationals covering a greater distance at very high speed (ES = 0.30) and performing a greater number of sprints (ES = 0.80). Small differences were found between the 2 levels in all but total tackles (ES = 0.07) and defensive ruck effectiveness (ES = 0.64). International matches incurred a greater overall ball-in-play time than provincial matches (proportion ratio = 1.32).

Conclusions: These findings demonstrate that both physical and technical factors distinguish international and provincial rugby sevens, although overall match demands are similar.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Adult
  • Athletes* / psychology
  • Athletic Performance* / psychology
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Football* / psychology
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance
  • Running*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Video Recording
  • Young Adult