Position Specific Criteria

The assessment of players will be based upon these criteria.

Generic Skills (all positions)
Assessment Criteria Must Explanation
Physical • Cope with physical demands of the game• Maintain effective work rate • The player can match or beat a bigger, heavier opponent in and out of contact
• The player moves quickly from one position to another without losing control of body weight e.g. when making rapid changes of direction at pace.
• The player is a much faster runner than most in the age group.
• Compared with most in the age group, the player can really “explode” into a jump, tackle, push, kick or throw
• The player can remain steady and in control even when performing rapid movements or being tackled or grabbed by an opponent.
• The player has, or is near a level of fitness (aerobic/anaerobic, strength, flexibility, speed) & core stability to be able to compete & perform at the appropriate level.
Mental • Maintain focus
• Be mentally tough (tenacious)
• The player keeps going for the period of the activity and keeps focussed even when tiring.
• The player goes into tackles and/or contact even though a painful knock is likely or results. Then gets back into the activity quickly.
• The player shows a determination to compete (e.g. to get the ball, win the race, beat the opponent).
• The player “has a go” even perhaps after being unsuccessful the first time and is willing to experiment and “have a go” with more difficult skills.
Technical/Skill • Execute core and positionspecific skills under pressure
• Maintain safe and effective technique appropriate to
positional requirements
• The player consistently performs a sequence of movements, with little thought and minimum effort, with control e.g.

  • throwing
  • jump & catch
  • catch & pass
  • catch and kick
  • tackle and contest

• The player can maintain effective technique throughout regardless of opponent/conditions
• The player is able to make adjustments to technique when required

Game Awareness • Understand and demonstrate
their role/s throughout the game
• Make effective decisions
• The player can follow the movement of the ball while making sense of the movement of other players, both attackers and defenders, on the field.
• A player with good game vision can accurately track the most influential fast movements of the ball and other players
• A player is a good decision maker in the game when, with little time and space s/he can produce an action that increases the chance of success.
• Players show good support when their actions help the ball-player in attack, or help their team to defend when the opposition has the ball.
• A player shows creativity when s/he chooses an unexpected/less likely course of action that changes the balance of advantage for their team (attack & defence)
• The player is able to improvise & adapt to changing situation.
• The player applies principles of play to attack & defence
• The player understands & applies role in attack & defence
Personal* • Exhibit discipline
• Be committed to improve (coachability)
• The player picks up new skills quickly and responds well to advice and tips from the coach
• The players is able to analyse quality of performance (own and others)
• The player accepts their role within the team/unit/sub unit
• The player seeks opportunities to improve
• The player is able to lead & motivate, through communication or action
• The player demonstrates determination and resilience

*Personal attributes can only be assessed over a period of time and maybe reported on at each stage of the assessment process by the coaches who have worked with the player, and/or be included in a final report

Player Positions
FULL BACK
  • Hits the line with pace and threat
  • Works with back 3 unit in attack and defence
  • Deals effectively with kicks
  • Strike & Support Runner
  • Strike runner with pace and timing into the line or as a support runner

Kicking
Effective kicker off either feet
Counter-attacking:
Seeks to counter attack and link as part of the back 3
Defence
Effectively deals with a highball and defensive duties
Other aspects
such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes

Key Positional Attributes
Technical
• Effectively deals with an opponent’s kick
• Times the pass accurately for the receiver
• Must kick off EITHER foot with accuracy and length, both as an attacking option and to relieve pressure.
• Goal kicking and restarts a plus.
Decision-Making
• Maximises own team’s attacking threat & minimises opponent’s attacking threat
• Make effective decisions
Positional & Game Awareness
• Use panoramic vision of game—especially from phase ball—anticipate—scan—act—communicate.
• Understand and demonstrate their role/s throughout the game
• The player is able to improvise & adapt to changing situation.
• Ability to read the game and cover defensive options
Attack
• Effective ‘strike runner’ with pace and timing into the line or as a support / decoy runner
• Key attacking player from set and broken play—be confident and adventurous
• Positional awareness—good understanding from ALL field positions—work in tandem with wings on attack and defence.
• Timing into backline with power and speed—able to step off either foot at pace.
• Run into backline with timing and good lines to create space for wings and others.
• Understand and execute continually, the requirements of counter attack
Defence
• MUST be strong, effective tackler —all types of tackle
• Able to shadow and manipulate ball carrier.
Communication
• Must organise the defence.
• Accurate and continual
• Positive talk and option calling skills especially off phase ball.
WINGER Shows an ability to beat an opponent 1 on 1
Works hard to support/cover back 3 unit
Deal with opponents kick
A Finisher
Genuine sprint pace and evasion skills to score tries
Dealing with kicks:
Deals with ball kicked at or behind him
Counter-attacking:
Seeks to counter attack as part of the back 3
Positional awareness:
Ability and willingness to effectively read the game in both defence and attack.
Generic:
Other aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes
Key Positional Attributes
Technical
• Ability to beat opponents off EITHER foot and stay up in tackle when required.
• Support Full back and others as counter attack and defence “team”
• Must have finishing ability—determination and courage.
• Awareness of blind side options and entry from blind side as an attacking or decoy option
• SWERVE and or SIDE STEP
Defensive
• Chase and pressure opposition whenever possible
• Accurate hard defender—working also in tandem with others in back 3.
• Understandand execute tackle option se.g.Spot,Cover,Smother etc
Kicking
• Kick effectively especially with stronger “foot”Become an option to relieve pressure.
• CHIP/GRUBBER and RETRIEVE SKILLS
CENTRE Distributes accurately off both hands
Ability to make line breaks
Kicks well out of hand
Can distribute well off both hands with a range of passes
Ability to make line breaks
Exploits overlaps
Decision-Making
Must be technically correct and capable of making decisions under intense pressure
Tackling
Aggressive & competent tackler
Threatens Defence
Ability to commit defences with running lines, and utilises support players, inside and out.
Kicking
Execution of a range of attacking & defensive kicks
Key positional attributes
Awareness & Decision-Making
• Ability to “read” game and select correct tactics
• Make effective decisions
• The player is able to improvise & adapt to changing situation.
• Key decision maker and communicator, especially on defence and when on attack from broken play.
Tackling
• Aggressive & competent tackler
• Creates turnover opportunities
Technical Skills
• Times an accurate pass for the receiver
• Alternative kicking option to Fly-Half (predominant IC)
• Chip/grubber/nudge kick for self or others
• Ability to Stay up/remain on feet in the tackle
• Ability with range of kick options to get ball in behind opposition(grubber, chip, wipers, long )
• Punting option for clearance(preferably alternate foot from 10 or 13)
• 2 handed ball carriage, for continuity and distribution.
Attack
Outside Centre
• Key support player at tackle—following kicks and cover defence.
• Ability to commit defence with running lines, and utilises support players, inside and out.
• Good alignment and cohesion with inside player on all facets of attack and defence.
• Straight runner to keep attack alignment.
• Take outside gap and release support players
Attack
Inside Centre
• Ability to commit defence with good lines,2 handed ball carriage and accurate timely passes under pressure to create “space” for support players
• Times an accurate pass for the receiver
• Creative running and handling ability
FLY-HALF Can distribute the ball off either hands with a range of pass length
Kick accurately out of hand
Assesses options quickly and dictate the pattern of play
Game Management
Ability to read game and change tactics when necessary.
Distribution:
Threatens defences whilst distributing in a variety of ways
Kicking:
Accurate execution of an all round kicking game, including goal kicking and restarts
Communication:
Communicates effectively with the team and individuals
Generic:
Other aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes
Specialist Attributes
Attacking
• Vary position and point of attack especially from phase play.
• Always back up and create a threat to opposition defence thinking.
• Be a threat with or without ball, especially the close defence at phases.
• Ability to run the ball to apply pressure on defensive thinking.
• Explosive, elusive runner when on the run.
• Confident director of play
• Ability and speed to threaten blindside defence
• PASS with QUICK ACCURATE ‘HANDS’ off either hand and under pressure.
• Option calling with very good physical and verbal link. Decisive, calm and accurate.
Defence
• Committed on defence—accurate and effective tackler.
• Communicate and organise defence with outside backs.
• Organise/control close in defence
• Don’t show pre determination of move with body language
Kicking
• Kick accurately and effectively off EITHER foot, for tactics and especially for field position.
• Requires kicking skills for restarts, goal kicking
SCRUM-HALF Quick and accurate pass off either hands.left particularly
Accurate Box Kick
Organise and ‘boss’ forwards around the breakdown
Game Management
Ability to read game and change tactics when necessary.
Distribution:
Threatens defences whilst distributing in a variety of waysKicking:
Accurate execution of an all round kicking game,including goal kicking and restarts
Communication:
Communicates effectively with the team and individuals
Generic:
Other aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes
Key Positional Criteria – Scrum half
Attack
• Quick and accurate pass of either hand (most especially the left)
• Explosive runner from base and phase(speed and strength)
• Vision and ability to use “blindside”
• Strong link skills between backs and forwards. Speed to breakdowns. Instinctive.
• Strong/quick/decisive breaks from set and phase play
• Organisational and talking skills, understanding options, moves, and when to use.
Defence
• Strong and aggressive tackler
• Communicate and organise defensive screens with loose forwards and others (eg 10 and Blindside wing)
• Organisational and talking skills, understanding threats
Kicking
• Precise up touch and box kick off either foot
• Accurate kicker off either foot to relieve pressure and create attack options(Up touch and Box)
PROP Safe, powerful and legal scrimmage position
Safe and powerful lineout lift
Tackles powerfully around the fringes
Scrum:
Safe, Stable and Powerful scrummager
Line-Out:
Safe, Stable and Dynamic Lifter & Blocker
Ball carry:
Dynamic impact in ruck / maul situations and as a strong driving / ball carrying runner
Contact:
Good distribution, contact and support skills
Generic:
Other aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill,
Specialist Attributes:
Line-Out
• Safe, effective and powerful support player (lifter)
• Understand other roles and requirements at lineout e.g. sweeping, reactive to deflections support play
• Applies pressure on opponent’s line-out
Scrum
• Scrum power, accurate and consistent—know how to “Work” and manipulate the scrum.
• Strength and Physical presence, especially upper body for lift support and scrum.
• Be able and understand how to manipulate scrum –our ball and theirs.
• Ability to play either side of the scrum
Attack
• Strong driver/puller/dragger at maul
Defence
• Understand role of “Post”,1st and 2nd defender at static “Rucks”
• Repositions self appropriately in defensive situations.
• Support Jumpers at kick off.
Game Awareness,
Personal attributes
HOOKER Accurate throw: front, middle and back
Win scrummage ball
Line-Out:
Accuracy in a range of throws
Scrum:
Safe, Stable and Powerful scrummager
Specialist Attributes:
Ball carry:
Dynamic impact in ruck / maul situations and as a strong driving / ball carrying runner
Contact:
Good distribution, contact and support skills
Generic:
Other aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes
Line-Out
• Excellent and consistent throw over a variety of distances under pressure
• Strong driving and close quarter handling to be a dynamic ball carrying option
Scrum
• Attacking Scrummager with a clean strike of ball
Attack
• Demonstrates a range of passing/offloading skills
• Effective ball carrier
• Effective contribution in open play (support runner)
• Good over ball at tackle – 2nd open side
Defence
• Can defend the short side & midfield
LOCK Dominates airspace around the ball at lineout and restart
Attacks and disrupts opponents lineout ball and restart
Active and powerful scrummager
Line-Out:
Good hands and aerial lineout and kick receive skills
Scrum:
Powerful and strong/safe scrummager
Ball carry:
Dynamic impact in ruck / maul situations and as a strong driving / ball carrying runner
Contact:
Good distribution, contact and support skills
Line-Out
• Aerial skills at lineout and restarts(Receipts and Chase)
• Key ball winner at lineout, in 2 or 3 positions.
• Threat to opposition ball at lineout.(Take their ball)
• Variety of jumps in all positions
Scrum
• Scrum power, accurate and consistent—know how to “Work” and manipulate the scrum. (Pride in scrums performance)
Attack
• Mobility to support phase ball—be an effective 2nd wave attacker/decoy.
• Apply pressure with ball in hand
• Command your area—be a threat with ball in hand
• Strong driver/puller/dragger at breakdown – know when to join/stand out
Defence
• Understand Defensive requirements at Scrum and Lineout
Generic: aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes
• Make BONUS tackles
• At breakdown know when to join/stand out
Physicality
• Maximise physical attributes
FLANKER Excellent tackle area skills
Running and handling skills
Strong ball carrier
Robust defender
Good off load skills
Physical Qualities
Has a physical presence in the loose with strong ball carrying and distribution / support skills Impact
Makes correct decisions to impact the breakdown
Line-Out:
Good aerial skills and lifting/blocking skills
Contact:
Significant contribution to the scrum in attack and defence
Generic:
Other aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes
OPEN-SIDE FLANKER
Attack & Support
• Support for ball carrier in all parts of field
• Speed and lines to breakdowns (Shortest route to ball)
• Retain and enhance CONTINUITY of attack
• Secure ball on ground and present it.
OPEN-SIDE FLANKER
Defence
• Attack the ball AND the Ball carrier to effect a turnover/slow the attack down
• Secure ball on ground and present it.
• Turn defence into attack through accurate field position, aggressive tackling and securing of ball—Back to feet—pick.
• Unison with 6,8 ,9 in “D” at scrum.
OPEN-SIDE FLANKER
Set Piece
• Provide strong support for prop at scrum.
• COMMAND tail of line out. Sharp and quick to re-act.
OPEN-SIDE FLANKER
• Intuitive more than re-active and a “hunter” – narrow and wide
• High aerobic capacity.
BLIND-SIDE FLANKER
Attack & Support
• Pace, power and strength to provide impetus at breakdowns.
• Create and assist continuity of attacks.
• Support tight forwards in securing and recycling ball.
• Look to support ball carrier especially as option in 2nd wave from line-out—scrum.
BLIND-SIDE FLANKER
Defence
• Strong aggressive tackler, create fear factor-close down the short side.
• Attack the ball except when holding from scrum(on b/side) Strong and accurate defence of blindside (look into scrum)
Work in unison with other defenders at scrum and lineout e.g. 9,8,7 and b/side wing.
BLIND-SIDE FLANKER
Set Piece
• Lineout option whether as jumper, lifter or driver.
• Powerful assistance to prop at scrum.
• Look into scrum to keep sight of ball to time release to attack/support ball.
• Used as extra lineout optionSecure mid field area at short kick off receipts and restarts, 22m and 50 m.
NO 8 Strong ball carrier, real attacking threat
Impact defender
Provides a lineout option
Contact:
impact Defender to produce turnover ball & an effective ball carrier
Line-Out:
Combination of good aerial skills and lifting/blocking ability
Scrum:
Effective decision-making and control of and pace off the base of the scrum
Distribution & Support Skills
Effective support & distribution skills to maintain continuity
Generic:
Other aspects, such as Physical, Mental, Skill, Game Awareness, Personal attributes
Attack
• Excellent ball control/pick up and distribution/passing
• Makes positive contribution to the scrum
• Flexible, agile with explosive speed.
• Ability to breach gain line from scrum and other phases and also go wide to support ball.
• Critical link at scrum-passing skills accurate and long off either hand.
• Understanding of moves /options/plans
• Key player and communication link.
• Key support at breakdown—support to 7 at breakdown from set play.
• Work with loose forwards/9 and others to create continuity.
• Attacking option at kick off receipts.
• Line out option and effective lifter /jumper/driver..
Defence
• Defensive involvement/organisation and understanding
• Key in defensive work particularly at scrum, with loose forwards, 9 and b/side wing
• Strong, aggressive, driving close quarter tackler—instils fear round the fringes.
Assess opposition attack options at set play and communicate.