How to Play Rugby Number 8

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

There are several qualities a good 8 man should posses. He needs to be a smart, hard working, heads up player. During offensive scrums, the 8 man is responsible for protecting the ball when it is kicked back by the hooker and making it playable for the scrum half. The 8 man and the scrum half (#9) communicate to determine how the ball will be distributed back into play. If the scrum is under pressure or a team has won a defensive scrum, the 8 man's best option is to pick the ball up and run to the left of the scrum.

Step 2

During open field play the 8 man can't be slacking. He needs to be able to keep up with the fastest backs and be a strong as the biggest forwards. Offensively he should be taking the ball up field, eating up as many defenders as possible. He should also be able to set up in a back line and run basic plays.

Step 3

Defensively the 8 should match himself up with the opposing teams centers (#12, #13), flankers (6,7) and the opposing 8 man. He should be able to be quick and strong enough to make open field tackles on his own.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

A big part of playing #8 is attitude. Deep knowledge of the game and all the players and positions is a must. A good 8 man is always taking the ball forward. Hard running is 8 parts physical, 2 parts mental. #8s want to run down any and everything in their path.

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The 8 man is one of the 3 loose forwards. He should be one of the hardest running, biggest, strongest, and smartest players on the field. He commands the rear of the scrum and should be one of the most athletic of the forwards.

When did you first do this & how did you get started?

It's every second row's dream to be moved to 8 man. As far as body type, they tend to be the tallest 3 players on the field. I've played 8 man a handful of times and it is by far my favorite position in rugby.

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