Table 4

Tackle numbers and rates in rugby union (all levels of play)

StudyCohortRate definitionTackle rate
Duthie et al164Super 12 teamsTackling/gameFront-row forwards: 10±8
Back-row forwards: 13±5
Inside backs: 11±6
Outside backs: 7±4
Deutsch et al165Super 12 teamTackles (tackling and tackled)/gameFront-row forwards: 9.5±3
Back-row forwards: 23±6
Inside backs: 20±4.5
Outside backs: 11±6.5
Eaton and George166English Premiership teama) Tackling/gameProps: 8±4,a 5±3b
b) Tackled/gameHooker: 8±4,a 7±4b
Lock forwards: 11±3,a 4±2b
Loose forwards: 13±6,a 8±5b
Scrum halves: 11±4,a 9±4b
Inside backs: 9±4,a 5±3b
Outside backs: 6±3,a 5±3b
Fuller et al20English Premiership teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)221 (95% CI 215.9 to 226.2)
Quarrie and Hopkins167Bledisloe Cup teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)1995: 160±32
2004: 270±25
Roberts et al168English Premiership teamTackling/gameTight forwards: 12±3
Loose forwards 16±4
Inside backs: 13±3
Outside backs: 8±2
Smart et al99New Zealand National Provincial Championship teama) Tackling/gameForwards: 13.6±7.5,a 3.2±2.4b
b) Tackled/gameBacks: 6.5±4.7,a 0.7±0.9b
Austin et al169Super 14 teamTackles (tackling and tackled)/gameFront-row forwards: 20±4
Back-row forwards: 19±4
Inside backs: 25±13
Outside backs: 20±7
Coughlan et al100International players (one forward and back)a) Tackling/gameForward: 10,a 5b
b) Tackled/gameBack: 12,a 4b
van Rooyen170International teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)Six Nations: 165±28
Tri Nations:141±24
2011 Rugby World Cup:156±47
Hendricks et al171Super 14 teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)114±20
Villarejo et al1722007 RWC teamsTackling/gameFront-row forwards: 10.04
Lock forwards: 10.94
Back-row forwards: 14.25
Scrum halves: 12.48
Inside backs: 10.46
Outside backs: 5.9
Hendricks et al98Super 14 teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)116±20
Jones et al101European Cup teama) Tackling/gameForwards: 5±3,a 5±2b
b) Tackled/gameBacks: 4±3,a 5±3b
van Rooyen et al173Six Nations teamTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)191±32
Lindsay et al174Super 15 teamc) Tackling/minuteFront-row forwards: 0.14±0.07,c 0.06±0.05d
d) Tackled/minuteLock forwards: 0.16±0.09,c 0.1±0.02d
Loose forwards: 0.17±0.09,c 0.09±0.06d
Inside backs: 0.14±0.12,c 0.11±0.07d
Outside backs: 0.07±0.07,c 0.12±0.06d
Roberts et al6Amateur English community-level teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)140.9 (95%CI 136.7 to 145.2)
Villarejo et al1752011 RWC teamsTackling/gameFront-row forwards: 9.96
Lock forwards: 10.9
Back-row forwards: 14.36
Scrum halves: 12.44
Inside backs: 10.35
Outside backs: 5.95
Brown et al176South African under-18 provincial Craven Week teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)123±17
Hendricks et al97Six Nations teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)175±21
Hendricks et al97Rugby Championship teamsTotal match tackles (tackling and tackled)154±36
  • a, tackling/game; b, tackled/game; c, tackling/minute; d, tackled/minute; RWC, Rugby World Cup.