The Role of Loosehead and Tighthead Props In 7s Rugby

The Role Of Loosehead And Tighthead Props In 7s Rugby

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

In the dynamic world of sevens rugby, every position has its own unique significance. Among these, the roles played by the Loosehead and Tighthead Props are pivotal. In this article, we’ll delve into the distinct responsibilities and attributes that define these positions in sevens rugby.

Understanding the Prop Positions

loosehead and tighthead playing rugby 7s

In a sevens rugby team, the prop positions are occupied by two players – the Loosehead and the Tighthead. Their nomenclature derives from their respective positions in the scrum formation. The Loosehead is positioned on the left, while the Tighthead takes up the right side.

These athletes are typically robust individuals, known for their tenacity in open play. Their versatility extends beyond scrummaging, as they excel in lineouts and excel at ruck play.

Scrums in Sevens Rugby

Unlike the fifteens format, scrums in sevens rugby are a less frequent occurrence. They primarily come into play when there is a handling error on the field. This is in stark contrast to fifteens, where scrums are a central aspect of the game.

In a sevens scrum, three forwards from each team form a unit, flanked by the hooker in the middle. A helpful mnemonic to distinguish between the Loosehead and Tighthead positions is the phrase “L for Loosehead and Left,” and “Tight on Right” for the Tighthead.

Notable Disparities between Loosehead and Tighthead Props

Beyond their scrum positions, the disparities between the Loosehead and Tighthead in sevens rugby are relatively minimal. Notably, in contrast to fifteens rugby where these positions are highly specialized, interchanging between Loosehead and Tighthead roles is a rarity.

Both props in sevens tend to be among the slower players on the field, although exceptions do exist, particularly at the international level. Furthermore, they typically carry more mass than their teammates. In cases where a team fields a lighter or taller player as a prop, this player is likely to take on the role of the jumper in lineouts, with the heavier prop assuming the role of lifter.

Essential Skills for Loosehead and Tighthead Props

While there is a longstanding jest about props requiring less refined skills compared to other positions, this notion is quickly dispelled by their demanding role on the field. Scrums and lineouts constitute key aspects of their training regimen. It is worth noting that scrummaging in sevens places less emphasis on sheer force compared to the fifteens format.

Lineout proficiency is another critical facet of their skill set. Many teams field a taller prop for lineouts, as they have the capacity to contest for high throws.

In addition to scrum and lineout skills, props must be adept at rucking, offering crucial support to teammates who find themselves tackled. Running and passing abilities are equally crucial, with exceptional plays often emanating from these seemingly unassuming players.

What Number Does A Prop Wear In Sevens?

In fifteens, props wear numbers one and three. In sevens, it’s a bit more flexible. The governing body doesn’t mandate specific numbers for positions. However, since there are 12 players in total numbers must range from one to twelve.

Transitioning from Fifteens to Sevens

While some club-level players engage in both fifteens and sevens rugby, the demands of the sevens game necessitate a specific skill set. This is why international props in fifteens rugby rarely transition to the sevens format. Nonetheless, occasional club players may attempt this feat, often with mixed results.

In conclusion, the roles of Loosehead and Tighthead Props in sevens rugby are multifaceted, requiring a blend of strength, agility, and technical proficiency. These athletes form an indispensable component of any successful sevens team, and their contributions are a testament to the nuanced nature of this high-octane sport.

Learn More About Positions in Rugby 7s

The key to mastering rugby sevens is understanding the role of each and every player. For this reason, we have created an article guiding you through every position in great detail. Check our article “Mastering Rugby 7s Positions” if you want to step up your game to the next level.

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