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Old 12-15-2006, 08:19 PM   #1
Steve Shafley
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,273
Default Comments on James Evans' Rugby article in the PMenu

I am kind of commenting in-line as I read it more thoroughly.

In the past they just walked from scrum to scrum and existed purely to practice the black arts of the front row.
And a black art it is. Very rare in the U.S. to find a prop at the club level who knows what they are doing. A real bastard from England taught me the niceties of front row play by doing nasty things to me during games. After practicing these nasty tricks on poor unsuspecting props from other teams, I was able to bulldog him by dint of superior strength. What a nasty piece of work. He once spit a lugie into my beer when I went to take a piss. In return, I filtered his beer though a certain body cleft, and watched him drink it down, including what us Americans call "dingleberries." You'd think this might result in a fist fight, but it didn't, though we were definitely not fond of each other.

Your list of "doing things properly" is definitely spot on. I like it.

The yearly plan might or might not apply to US rugby. At least in the Midwest division, the year is divided into two seasons, a spring season and a fall season (15s), in the summer, if one wants to play 7s, then there are ample opportunities to do so. At least it was. This might not be the case anymore.

I'd revise it for US players like this:

Post-Fall season:
-Take some time off to heal up.
-When you are physically ready, start in on a strength and power routine

Pre-Spring season:
-Continue the S&P session, but begin conditioning for the spring season. This is often a major hassle since most of the Midwest states are covered in snow. If you have access to an inside track with appropriate flooring, this become less of a problem. When you are about 10-12 weeks out, depending on your situation, you really need to start amping up the conditioning.

Spring season:
12-15 weeks long. Maintain 1-2 strength sessions weekly, maintain conditioning via intensity methods, rather than volume.

This is tough. Take some time off to heal up, if you are ok, you better start lifting heavily until 7s start. 7s should really work on your conditioning.
If I played 7s, then my strength would be seriously shot for the fall season. If I didn't play 7s, then my skills and my conditioning would be down for the fall season. Striking the optimal balance is hard, but should be pursued.

Pre-Fall Season:
Conditioning, skills, strength work. You are going to have to make some choices, but you better be ready to play hard.

Fall Season:
Similar to spring season. Be very wary of your overall condition.

My training ideas would parallel yours, but I am sure we wouldn't come out with precisely the same kind of thing given our different backgrounds. I would not be all that concerned with plyos, for example, though I recognize their usefulness. I am not sure I would use any XF benchmark sessions either.

Your running ideas are close enough to mine to not cause any comment. The ever increasing walk/run interval is a nice idea.

I plan on googling the "Concept2 & Rugby" to see what's going on with that. I always ran or jumped rope for my conditioning, but can see how the C2 could be a very good tool for rugby.

I don't know if I'd be concerned regarding speed for US ruggers. This is kind of a "what do you have time to do" article, and though on-field agility would be a big concern of mine, straight out linear speed would only start to become important at higher levels.

I really like your final thoughts.

To parallel this, the USA Rugby organization is, in my opinion, an absolute clusterfuck, with favoritism, cronyism, nepotism, and a feeling of entitlement by the bureaucrats running rampant. USA Rugby is what stops the Eagles from being a better team. The selection process is slanted towards who you know or play for, and the S&C, remarkably, used to be the worst in the world for any national level side, though I have been told it's getting better.

All in all, a GREAT read, and an excellent primer for rugby preparation.
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