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Rugby Union: Positions Guide - Forwards

Rugby Union: Positions Guide - Forwards

Esher Rugby Club and VideoJug have combined forces to help you discover who the forwards are and what they do in the game of Rugby. Watch this film and learn with our position guide to forwards.

Step 1: The Forwards

The term ‘forwards' refers to the front eight players in a team. That's:

1, 2 and 3. A Hooker and Two Props – collectively known as the front row in a scrum.

4 and 5. Two Locks

6 and 7. Two flankers – ‘blindside' and ‘open-side'

8. A Number Eight.


Let's take a closer look at who they are, and what they do.

Step 2: The Props

The main role of the props is to support the hooker in the front row of a scrum, to give him the best chance of winning the ball. Along with the locks, they provide a large part of the scrum's driving force.

Away from the scrum, these heavy, strong players form a large part of the team's forward momentum – pushing forwards and joining in rucks and mauls in an attempt to gain ground, win the ball and ultimately make it over the try-line…

Step 3: The Hooker

Placed in the middle of the front row, the Hooker has the vital role of ‘hooking' the ball back to his team in an effort to win the scrum.

As well as scrum duties, the Hooker is often responsible for the throw-in in a line-out. Other than that, they're there pushing, tackling and mucking-in to keep the team moving forwards…

Step 4: Locks

The locks provide the main driving force of the scrum, and keep it steady and straight.

Usually tall, athletic and imposing players, they bash through rucks and mauls, and are also generally responsible for jumping and receiving the ball in a line out.

Step 5: Flankers

There are two distinct flanker positions: the blindside and openside flanker.

Both hang off the side of a scrum, providing no real driving force, instead offering support and protection to the scrum-half.

The flankers switch sides depending on the position of the scrum on the pitch; blindside on the side closest to a touchline, open-side on the other. Generally, if the opposition wins the ball they'll head out into the open and try and pummel whoever's got it.

Step 6: The Number Eight

The Number Eight needs to be something of a jack of all trades. They need the strength and raw power of a forward, combined with the nimble athletic ability of a back.

The Number Eight hangs out the back of the scrum, and receives the ball ready to feed it out to the scrum-half.

They also take the last position in a line-out, ready to clean up and bash through.