Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2020) 19, 613 - 619

Research article
Global Positioning System Activity Profile in Touch Rugby: Does Training Meet the Match-Play Intensity in a Two-Day International Test Match Series?
Chi-Ching Gary CHOW 
Author Information
Department of Health and Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong,

Chi-Ching Gary CHOW
✉ The Education University of Hong Kong, 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, Hong Kong
Publish Date
Received: 05-06-2020
Accepted: 05-06-2020
Published (online): 13-08-2020
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This study quantified the match-play activity profiles of international touch rugby and different positional physical outputs in comparison with training specificity. Between November 2019 and January 2020, 82 half-matches and 173 training global positioning system data from 16 national male touch rugby players (mean ± SD: age 23.71 ± 3.90 years, height 1.73 ± 0.05 m, weight 65.38 ± 9.08 kg, touch rugby training experience 6.09 ± 3.31 years) were recorded. The distance covered by wings in half-match (1676.66 ± 444.80 m) was more than that of link (1311.35 ± 223.59 m) and middle (1383.52 ± 246.55 m) by a large effect (partial η2 = 0.19), which was mainly attributed to walking and jogging (< 4.00 m·s-1). Meanwhile, the middles covered more running distance (4.00-5.50 m·s-1) than other positions. No significant positional group difference was observed for distance covered >5.50 m·s-1, maximum velocity, and the ratio of acceleration and deceleration in matches. Training intensity was close to the match-play outputs only for the high-speed running distance at ≥ 5.50 m·s-1. However, the training activity pattern consistently showed a disparity with the match-play outputs, in terms of shorter normalized training distance covered, less recovery distance covered at ≤ 5.50 m·s-1, higher maximum velocity, and heavier weighting to acceleration in training activities. The current study highlights for the first time that in-match deceleration capacity and active recovery pacing strategy may be essential to touch rugby players. The data provided practitioners a deeper understanding of the physical demands of national touch rugby and allowed them to align the training with the match-play intensity.

Key words: Game Analysis, performance, team sport, football, acceleration

           Key Points
  • This study highlighted the importance of different positional demands and thus training approaches in touch rugby by showing substantial differences in the total covered distances and relative velocities performed.
  • The heavier reliance of players on deceleration than on acceleration during matches.
  • Practitioners should consider introducing deceleration-focused drills in addition to small-sided games, match-simulation, and tactical drills.
  • The longer jogging distance covered in matches might reflect a need to reconsider the importance of recovery time within a training session. Coaches may integrate more match-simulated scenarios for active recovery.
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