The back row in rugby is one of the positional areas that allows for the greatest variation in playing size and styles. This ensures that the back row is made up of a whole range of different characters. Therefore following on from our pieces on the types of players you find playing at prop and in the second row here is a look at the 8 types of players you find in the back row;
1. The Legend
The legend is the kind of player whose been around the club their whole lives having played every position for every team when called upon. They use this experience on the field to their advantage and are often found playing on the very edge of the laws which winds up young opponents no end, especially as they no how to work every ref in the league.
2. The Beast
The Beast may not be the quickest or the smartest player on the pitch but there’s never doubting their commitment. Every time they get the ball they somehow seem to make ground whilst others can only look on in awe (even if they occasionally need to be pointed in the right direction). Despite looking like they could snap necks with their pinky The Beast can often be the biggest tart on the pitch.
3. The Stick
At first glance any on-lookers would immediately assume the stick was a winger, yet somehow they seem to have made their way into the back row. Despite looking like a malnourished wafer the stick somehow manages to put in some huge hits that ensure nobody takes the piss for too long. Their feather like torso makes them an ideal option for throwing up in the line-out.
4. The Animal
The Animal will often look completely out of shape and not suited to any form of physical activity at all, yet despite this they make their presence known. Useless in attack but a complete menace in defence, The Animal throws themselves into rucks and tackles with little regard for their own well-being and even less for their opponents.
5. The Kid
The Kid may look more like they belong in nappies than rugby shorts yet somehow always show up players twice their age with much more experience. Don’t let their child like complexion fool you as they have youth on their side allowing them to bound around the pitch without breaking a sweat whilst they recover from big hits in no time at all.
6. The Brawler
More suited to the gym than a rugby pitch, somehow The Brawler will find themselves in a scrap no matter who they’re playing. Despite this though they are rarely the one to start any altercations but they sure as hell no how to finish one. Definitely the kind of player you wouldn’t want to come across down a dark alley, the brawler sends backs scampering with a grunt.
7. The Hero
The Hero is like the Swiss Army Knife of rugby players, capable of playing anywhere in the back row and still making an impact they rarely don’t head home without a man of the match award. The Hero will often creep up with a match winning try or tackle yet seeks no acclaim from team mates and frankly would rather keep their head down and celebrate with the team.
8. The Wrecking Ball
The Wrecking Ball is the kind of player who looks more like they belong in the front row than the back row, yet somehow usually find themselves playing Number 8. Pretty useless in most respects given their size, The Wrecking Ball more than makes up for this with their barnstorming runs and abilities to get over the gainline at every opportunity.
Which type of back row player are you?