The best rugby position for small people is scrum half. The average professional scrum half is 5 ft 9 (1.76m) and weighs 174 pounds (79 kg). Being short is an advantage as scrum halves have to constantly bend down low to pass the ball off the ground.
Another great position for smaller rugby players is wing. Wingers are known for their lightning quick pace and explosiveness. Traditionally rugby wingers were slim and shorter than other players but modern professional wingers are getting bigger and bigger. The average professional rugby winger is 6 ft 0 (182 cm) and 200 pounds (90 kg).
If you are shorter than 6 ft 0 don’t weigh 200 pounds don’t worry you can still be an incredible rugby winger. One of the best wingers in the world is Cheslin Kolbe who plays for the Springboks and Toulon. The South African is 5 ft 7.5 (1.71 m) and weighs (180 pounds) 80 kg.
Why Are Scrum Halves Short?
Scrum halves are short because their main job is to pass the ball from the ground at the back of the ruck to the fly half and rampaging forwards. To ensure accurate and fast passes they need to bend down low. The taller a scrum half is the harder it is for them to bend down low. That is why you will never see a 6 ft 7 scrum half!
Scrum halves also run the most of any rugby position. The average scrum half runs 7 km per game (4.35 miles). This is significantly more than other rugby positions, for props run just 4.5 km per game. Scrum halves also need to make it to every single ruck and be in perfect position to pass the ball. This is why scrum halves are much slimmer than other players with the average scrum half weighing 174 pounds (79 kg) while the average rugby pro weighs 220 pounds (100 kg).
Why Are Rugby Wingers Short?
Rugby wingers tend to be shorter and lighter than other positions because they need to be fast and explosive. The role of a rugby winger is to make line breaks down the side of the field and score tries in the corner.
To fulfill their role of scoring tries and making line breaks they need lots of speed and explosiveness. Speed and weight tend to have a negative correlation. If you look at world class sprinters they tend to be 5 ft 10 to 6 ft 1 and weigh between 165 pounds and 185 pounds.
Rugby wingers are no longer short. The average professional rugby winger is now 6 ft 0 (182 cm) and weighs over 200 pounds. However, there are still plenty of world class short wingers who are in the 5 ft 8 to 5 ft 10 range and weigh between 175 and 185 pounds).
One of the greatest short rugby wingers of all time is Shane Williams. The legendary Welsh winger played for Wales 87 times and scored 290 points. Williams was famous for his super explosive step and ability to generate incredible speed from a standing start. The short Welsh winger is 5 ft 7 and 175 pounds. So don’t let anyone tell you that you are too short or small to play rugby!
Another amazing short rugby winger is Breyton Paulse. Paulse played 64 times for the Springboks and scored 130 points. The short winger is 5 ft 9 and weighs just 80 kg. He was an amazing try scoring machine and would often leave players tackling air as stepped around them. Paulse had so much speed that once he made a lineback no one would ever catch him!
Are Hookers Short?
Hookers are shorter than most rugby positions. The average hooker is 5 ft 10 or 5 ft 11 while the average rugby player is 6 ft 1. However, the average hooker weighs 230 pounds (105 kg) while the average rugby player weighs 220 pounds (102 kg).
Hookers are a couple of inches shorter than the average rugby player but are 10 to 15 pounds heavier. This is because hookers need to be built like barrels. They need to be built close to the ground so they can get low in the scrum and get under their opposing man and also be effective at the ruck during the clean out phase. If you have a short stocky physique then you could be a natural hooker.
Just because you are a bit on the short and slim side does not mean you have to give up on your rugby dream! The best rugby positions for small players are scrum half (average pro is 5 ft 9 (1.76m) and weighs 174 pounds (79 kg)) or winger, just check out Chelsin Kolbe or Shane Williams if you need some inspiration!