Physiological and anthropometric correlates of tackling ability in junior elite and subelite rugby league players

Tim J Gabbett, David G Jenkins, Bruce Abernethy
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2010, 24 (11): 2989-95
This study investigated the tackling ability of junior elite and subelite rugby league players, and determined the relationship between selected physiological and anthropometric characteristics and tackling ability in these athletes. Twenty-eight junior elite (mean ± SD age, 16.0 ± 0.2 years) and 13 junior subelite (mean ± SD age, 15.9 ± 0.6 years) rugby league players underwent a standardized 1-on-1 tackling drill in a 10-m grid. Video footage was taken from the rear, side, and front of the defending player. Tackling proficiency was assessed using standardized technical criteria. In addition, all players underwent measurements of standard anthropometry (stature, body mass, and sum of 7 skinfolds), acceleration (10-m sprint), change of direction speed (505 test), and lower body muscular power (vertical jump). Junior elite players had significantly greater (p < 0.05) tackling proficiency than junior subelite players (65.7 ± 12.5 vs. 54.3 ± 16.8%). Junior elite players tended to be taller, heavier, leaner, and have greater acceleration, change of direction speed, and muscular power, than the junior subelite players. The strongest individual correlates of tackling ability were acceleration (r = 0.60, p < 0.001) and lower body muscular power (r = 0.38, p < 0.05). When multiple linear regression analysis was performed to determine which of the physiological and anthropometric characteristics predicted tackling ability, fast acceleration was the only variable that contributed significantly (r2 = 0.24, p < 0.01) to the predictive model. These findings demonstrate that fast acceleration, and to a lesser extent, lower body muscular power contribute to effective tackling ability in junior rugby league players. From a practical perspective, strength and conditioning coaches should emphasize the development of acceleration and lower body muscular power qualities to improve tackling ability in junior rugby league players.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"