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Paul A. Sellars, Stephen D. Mellalieu, and Camilla J. Knight

that of adolescence ( Stambulova, 2012 ). Reflecting these concerns, rugby union in Wales has experienced reduced levels of participation in adolescent age groups (cf. Welsh Rugby Union, 2014 ). The importance of rugby to Wales as a nation is ever present, and therefore continued participation and

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Adam R. Nicholls, Jim McKenna, Remco C.J. Polman, and Susan H. Backhouse

The aim of this study was to explore the perceived factors that contribute to stress and negative affective states during preseason among a sample of professional rugby union players. The participants were 12 male professional rugby union players between 18 and 21 years of age (M age = 19 years, SD = 0.85). Data were collected via semistructured interviews and analyzed using an inductive content analysis procedure. Players identified training (structure and volume), the number of matches played and the recovery period, diet, sleep, and travel as factors that they believed contributed to their experience of stress and negative affective states. The present findings suggest that players may require more time to recover between matches, alongside interventions to help players manage the symptoms of stress and negative affect during times in which players are overtraining.

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Bernat Llobet-Martí, Victor López-Ros, Jose Barrera-Gómez, and Joel Comino-Ruiz

The application of Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU) and Game Centered Approaches (GCA) in team sports initiation generated the need for assessing game performance. In this paper we introduce the Rugby Attack Assessment Instrument (RAAI), a tool to assess the actions of players in attack and their incidence in the generated game situations in rugby. The RAAI focuses the attention on the ball carrier during a 5 vs. 5 situation. The actions of players in possession of the ball are described and codified. A weight is allocated to each simple and combined action in relation to its tactical value. Thus, the codified actions provide a weighted Index of Performance, the team score of the RAAI. Validity and reliability were tested in two different studies. Results suggest that the RAAI is valid and reliable to assess ball carrier’s actions and their influence in attacking game situations of novice rugby union players.

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Katherine Elizabeth Black, Alistair David Black, and Dane Frances Baker

Worldwide 120 countries are affiliated to the rugby union, and rugby is thought to be played by ∼7 million people ( Rugby World, 2017 ). The two major club competitions are “Super Rugby” played in the Southern Hemisphere, with teams from Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Japan, and Argentina

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Shane Ball, Mark Halaki, Tristan Sharp, and Rhonda Orr

Rugby union is a highly physically demanding collision sport where match play comprises intermittent periods of high-intensity sprinting, low-speed walking and jogging, and contact events such as tackling, rucking and mauling, and scrummaging. 1 As contact events are a major component of the game

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Adam Beard, John Ashby, Ryan Chambers, Franck Brocherie, and Grégoire P. Millet

Rugby union is an intermittent sport often having periods of high-intensity efforts with incomplete recoveries. 1 Total distances reported in the literature have ranged between 4800 and 5200 m for forwards and 5600 and 6000 m for backs, 2 whereas sprint distances have ranged between 350 and 510 m

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Matthew R. Blair, Nathan Elsworthy, Nancy J. Rehrer, Chris Button, and Nicholas D. Gill

Rugby union is a highly intermittent sport involving periods of high-intensity exercise including running, tackling, and static exercise (ie, scrums) interspersed with periods of low-intensity activity. 1 Since rugby union became a professional sport in August 1995, there have been numerous

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Andrew J.A. Hall, Cedric English, Leigh W. Jones, Tony Westbury, and Russell Martindale

? Third, in examining the paucity in understanding of the acculturation environment ( Ryba et al., 2018 ; Schinke et al., 2013 ), how does the host environment support players coming into a team? Method Participants The sample consisted of five male elite rugby union coaches—four of whom, at the time of

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Patrick G. Campbell, Jonathan M. Peake, and Geoffrey M. Minett

The specificity of training principle states that training adaptations are closely related to the training stimulus and is considered important to optimize physical performance. 1 Training practices in rugby union have predominantly focused on the physical and physiological demands of match play

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Ryan M. Chambers, Tim J. Gabbett, and Michael H. Cole

Commercially available microtechnology devices containing global positioning systems (GPSs) and microsensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers) are commonly used to quantify the physical demands of rugby union. 1 During match play and training, players are divided into subgroups of