Cunningham et al (2018) investigated the relationship between physical qualities and KPIs in international rugby union players.

Here’s what they found:

In International Forwards:

Yo-Yo times (aerobic conditioning) correlated with:

  • Carries over the Gainline
  • Tackle success
  • Number of turnovers
  • Number of effective rucks
  • Number of tackles
  • First three players at a ruck in both attack and defense

Drop jump (reactive strength) performance correlated with:

  • Number of clean breaks
  • Dominant collisions
  • Number of offloads

In International Backs:

110kg Sled Sprint over 5m correlated with:

  • Number of dominant collisions
  • Number of offloads
  • Effective attacking rucks
  • Number of carries
  • First three players at attacking rucks

IMTP (pulling on a fixed object – like an isometric deadlift) relative peak force (relative strength) related to:

  • Carries over the Gainline
  • Tackle success
  • Effective attacking ruck percentage

“Collectively the results support the premise that generally higher levels of strength, power, reactive strength, and intermittent running performance are associated with higher match KPIs.

Therefore, methods to improve these qualities may confer benefits to match performance.”

Establishing KPI’s is a key part of our coaching process (if you’re not assessing, you’re guessing).

Here are they KPIs for Rugby we aim for.