Rugby league over the last 15 or 20 years has changed massively, early 90s the props were carrying a bit of timber and rotated often but the modern day prop is a finely tuned athlete the same as a centre and winger, some teams have bigger and stronger wingers than others prop forwards, Lesley Vinakolo a case in point when he was at Bradford and Ryan Hall currently playing for Leeds. It’s fair to say that in Junior rugby league your props are dictated by their size and speed, the chunkier lads
generally get thrown straight in the middle and become the teams props but what happens when those 11 or 12 year olds get to 15 / 16 they slim out and speed greatly increases, if you haven’t helped them to develop a full range of skills then as a coach you have probably let them down. The truth is that the modern day prop forward needs all of the skills of a centre and winger, be able to dummy half pass both ways, understand when the hooker will jump and even play a bit of 6 and 7.
By developing all the skills of our players through their junior playing days you develop a more rounded player who understands the game and will be better educated to make quality decisions no matter what decisions they end up playing in the future.
As a youth player going into academy’s and into professional setups then a prop needs to be
- Fit and Strong
- Mentally tough
- Have an intrinsic desire to be better than his opposition number
- Have the ability to execute skills under pressure
- Possess strong leg drive to push through the tackle.
- Have the ability to offload in all situations making quality decisions
- Consistently able to spin to the ground in a position to play the ball quick
- BE TOUGH
I am sure there are other elements that others would like to add so why not use the comments section below.