The study questioned if and to what extent specific anthropometric and functional characteristics measured in youth draft camps, can accurately predict subsequent career progression in rugby union. DESIGN: Original research. METHODS: Anthropometric and functional characteristics of 531 male players (U16) were retrospectively analysed in relation to senior level team representation at age 21-24. Players were classified as International (Int: National team and international clubs) or National (Nat: 1st, 2nd and other divisions and dropout). Multivariate analysis of variance (one-way MANOVA) tested differences between Int and Nat, along a combination of anthropometric (body mass, height, body fat, fat-free mass) and functional variables (SJ, CMJ, t15m, t30m, VO2max). A discriminant function (DF) was determined to predict group assignment based on the linear combination of variables that best discriminate groups. Correct level assignment was expressed as % hit rate. RESULTS: A combination of anthropometric and functional characteristics reflects future level assignment (Int vs. Nat). Players' success can be accurately predicted (hit rate=81% and 77% for Int and Nat respectively) by a DF that combines anthropometric and functional variables as measured at ∼15 years of age, percent body fat and speed being the most influential predictors of group stratification. CONCLUSIONS: Within a group of 15 year-olds with exceptional physical characteristics, future players' success can be predicted using a linear combination of anthropometric and functional variables, among which a lower percent body fat and higher speed over a 15m sprint provide the most important predictors of the highest career success.
|Titolo:||Player's success prediction in rugby union: From youth performance to senior level placing|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2017|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 Articolo in Rivista|