Table 2

Study characteristics and test design regarding studies included in the second step

Author(s)Rugby codeSkill testedSubjectsAge (mean±SD)Test design
Green25 UnionReactive agilityAcademy (n=17)19±1.67Sprint to 45° change of direction point and change direction to left or right flashing finish gate
Club (n=11)19±1.30
Gabbett24 LeagueReactive agilityFirst grade (n=12)23.6±2.3Follow direction of tester (four scenarios) initiated movement to left or right through finish gate
Second grade (n=30)
Serpell26 LeagueReactive agilityElite (n=15)Not reportedSprint towards screen displaying action of sport-specific movement (48 scenarios) and change direction as playing defender
Elite junior (n=15)
Gabbett9 LeagueTechnical and perceptual skillsFirst grade (n=58)23.8±3.8Reactive agility: follow direction of tester (four scenarios) initiated movement to left or right through finish gate
Pattern recall: recall player positions at time of video footage occlusion
Pattern prediction: predict next action at time of video footage occlusion
Tackling: 1-on-1 tackling drill assessed on standardised criteria by sport scientist
Draw and pass: 2-on-1 drill in single and dual-task conditions assessed by sport scientist
Pienaar10 UnionCatching and passingExperienced (n=173)Not reportedPassing for distance: passing as far as possible
Non-experienced (n=45)Passing for accuracy: passing over 4 and 7 m towards target
Running and catching: catching the ball while running
Stuart22 UnionSimulated rugby gamesElite (n=9)25±4Kick for distance: kicking as far as possible
Kick-off for distance: kicking-off as far as possible
Offensive sprint: forward run with ball while swerving
Defensive sprint: running forward and backward three arcs
Tackle sprint: tackle on tackle bag, running backward with ball, making another tackle and run forward
Passing accuracy: repeatedly pass ball as fast as possible towards target
Gabbett14 LeagueGame-specific skills during matchFirst grade (n=86)22.5±4.9Two expert coaches assessing playing skills (general, evasion, tackling/defensive, offensive) on standardised criteria
Kempton28 LeagueGame-specific skills during matchElite (n=5)Not reported2× first halves of 10 subjects coded on game-specific skills analysed on standardised criteria by trained operator from recordings of matches
Elite junior (n=5)
Sirotic27 LeagueGame-specific skills during matchElite (17)24.8±3.12× first halves of nine matches analysed on game-specific skills per minute of playing time
Semi-elite (22)22.1±2.4
Bennett23 LeagueGame-specific skills during matchElite junior (45)16.5±1.02× first halves of eight matches analysed on skill involvement during match