n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Long-term player development in rugby - how are we doing in South Africa? : commentary

Volume 22, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



Rugby is a sport where size does matter. Players who are bigger, stronger and faster have an advantage over smaller, less powerful players. These differences in size are exacerbated at the junior levels where players reach puberty at different stages. Furthermore, the problem is compounded in South Africa, where children from a low socio-economic environment are generally smaller and less powerful than their counterparts from more affluent areas. There is a strong likelihood that the smaller talented players will rather participate in sports in which they can express their talent and not be limited by their lack of size, as is the case in rugby.

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