Monday, July 2, 2012


                          Rugby flanker

Rugby flanker - open-side or blind-side are part of the scrum but cannot wait to get away from it. There are reasons, maybe this is for you.

Position in the team

Flankers come in a variety of shapes and sizes and it`s good to have a difference between the two on the pitch.
  • having handling ability is excellent
  • speed is pretty useful
  • good tackling is very important
other important assets are
  • strength, particularly upper body
  • toughness
  • competitiveness
  • bulk/weight
  • endurance
  • agility and mobility

Rugby flanker - in the scrum

The scrum restarts play after rules are breached in a minor way.
Flankers attach to the sides of the scrum.
They provide weight for pushing and stability but their main responsibilities are elsewhere.
When a scrum forms it is rarely central in terms of distance from the touch-lines.
  • the narrow side is called the blind-side
  • the wide side is called the open side
Rugby flankers tend to specialise, with one blind-side flanker and one open-side flanker.
When the scrum forms they attach to the scrum on the appropriate side, blind or open.
When the opposition win the ball in the scrum contest the rugby flanker DEFENDS.
The flankers must remain attached to the scrum until the ball comes out.
The blind-side flanker then breaks from the scrum and must stop any players with the ball from breaking through down the blind side.
The players would usually be the opposition scrum-half or number-eight who have gathered the ball at the base of the scrum and run blind rather than pass to the backs.
The open-side flanker breaks from the scrum and must stop any players with the ball from breaking through close to the scrum on the open-side.
Again this would usually be the scrum-half or number-eight
When the ball goes to the opposition backs the openside flanker follows, using all speed.
Mission - get in there, stop the attack and get the ball back!
The open-side flanker usually arrives at the tackle or break-down before the blind-side flanker because the route is shorter.
As for all player positions when you have tackled, release the tackled player and get up off the ground as quickly as possible.
Aim to get both feet on the ground and crouch unsupported over the tackled player so as to legally scavenge for the ball.
When the ball is won in the scrum the flankers SUPPORT.
It may mean close support for the number eight or scrum-half running the ball from the base of the scrum...
or covering across as the ball moves along the back-line, ready to receive an inside pass and/or waiting to pounce and retrieve the ball after any break-down in play.

Rugby flanker - in the line-out

The line-out restarts play after the ball has "gone into touch".
Flankers at the back of the line-out are used as alternative jumpers if tall enough.
This ploy is used only occasionally as getting the ball safely and accurately to the back of the line is more difficult and risky.
Flankers duties at the line-out are similar to scrum time.
Stop breaks with the ball around the end of the line and make things as difficult as possible for the opposition backs to function well together.
In attack, more of the same. At any break-down be first there and get the ball.

Rugby flanker - in general play

The two flankers and the number-eight play in a co-ordinated way to provide a mobile defensive area when the team is defending or when the team is attacking, provide critical early support for ball carriers in trouble.
They use their superior skills of tackling, ball handling and agility to assist in attack and their bulk, strength and endurance to bolster defence.
Want to escape their clutches get a sidestep!