chapter  21
6 Pages

Physiological and anthropometric characteristics of elite women’s rugby union players G.F. DE ROIA


This descriptive study was aimed to provide normative data on laboratorybased, physiological and anthropometric variables of elite women players from the northern hemisphere. These parameters can be useful to establish the physical requirements of female players, and to identify role differences while informing training decisions. It is also hoped that this study will stimulate further research in the field of women’s rugby union. 2. METHODS This sample consisted of 22 female players (11 forwards (FW), 11 backs (BK)) from the Italian National rugby union senior team. During the competitive season the athletes played ~1 match/week with their club and had three 1.5-hour field and two 1-hour weight training sessions each week. Tests were performed in the one

testing session in March 2007, after the Six Nations championship. Body mass (digital scale, Seca 877, Seca, Leicester, UK) and stature (vertical stadiometer, Seca, Leicester, UK) were determined to the nearest 0.1 kg and 0.5 cm. Skinfolds thickness was measured, in triplicate, by a single skilled investigator using a pincer type caliper (Holtain T/W skinfold caliper, Holtain limited, UK). For each skinfold (scapular, triceps, iliac, abdominal and thigh), an average value was calculated and body fat percentage was estimated based on the sum of the 5 skin fold thicknesses (SS, in mm) with the following formula (Golding et al., 1982):

% body fat = (0.3 * (SS)) – (0.0005 * SS2) + (0.03 * age) – 0.6

and lean body mass (LBM) was calculated as:

LBM = body mass (body mass * % body fat).