Strength and Conditioning for Rugby Union

Joel Brannigan
Rugby Union as a sport has seen continual evolution over the years, and never more so than since the game officially became professional in 1995. While on the pitch tactics have seen more formalized approaches to skill acquisition, it is off the pitch where the biggest changes have occurred and no area has developed more than strength and conditioning. Players have gone from traditionally training for 'fitness' as an add-on to their rugby training to seeking out structured athletic training interventions. Furthermore, with modern rugby players being physically bigger and faster, the need to ensure that they are more robust and free from injury has led to the demand for a more scientific approach to the prescription of strength and conditioning. In Strength and Conditioning for Rugby Union, ex-international player Joel Brannigan presents the underpinning science of strength and conditioning in rugby. Using the fundamental principles of training, he details a structure of assessing rugby players that in turn will allow appropriate training inverventions to be planned out and, most importantly, coached to a wide range of rugby playing levels.
Strength and Conditioning for Rugby Union by Joel Brannigan

About the author

During a ten year professional career Joel Brannigan played for Edinburgh, London Welsh RFC and Newcastle Falcons RFC and also represented Scotland at full international level and various lower representative levels. Following retirement in 2004 he pursued a career in the field of strength and conditioning and spent eight years as head of strength and conditioning at the University of Northumbria working with a wide range of sports and athletes, from Olympic level to recreational student athletes. He currently works as a strength and conditioning coach with Durham County Cricket Club. He holds an MSc in Strength and Conditioning and is also employed by the UK Strength and Conditioning Assocation as a tutor and assessor on their accreditation process. Wtihin rugby union he has delivered to professional players, 'age grade' representative players and recreational rugby players. He has a strong interest in rugby at all levels but specifically the development of junior level players.