BY THOMAS ALDERSON
Last Tackle TV’s second instalment of ‘Inside the Toronto Wolfpack’ continues with the breakdown and explanation of the different playing positions on a rugby league field, brought to you by Wolfpack Director of Rugby, and rugby league sporting great, Brian Noble.
This time, Noble’s playful explanation covers the backs division; running through the typical shirt numbers of 1-7:
Generally, the players in the backs will be smaller and more lightweight as there is less emphasis on them being big and physical compared to the engine room of the forwards. Next time you’re at Lamport Stadium or watching the Wolfpack on TV keep an eye out for some of the backs, they’ll probably be the ones scoring the tries!
Fullback – Shirt number 1 – A position that is significant in both attack and defence. Historically the fullback has always been the player who stands apart from the other 12 players in the defensive line, acting as a last ditch line of defence should the defensive line be broken.
Often appearing all over the field in attack as an extra man, the fullback will be expected to create chances for either himself or the players outside him and will share similar qualities to the playmakers.
Toronto Wolfpack: Quentin Laulu-Togaga’e
Wing – Shirt numbers 2 & 5 – Quite simply these players primary role is to finish attacking plays and score tries. Usually blessed with great speed, wingers will often find themselves given space by those inside them to claim the glory. There are two wingers in a team, found on the left and right edge. Typically, there is less emphasis on wingers to be strong defenders however it always helps!
Toronto Wolfpack: Jonny Pownall, Liam Kay, Ryan Burroughs, Gary Wheeler
Centre – Shirt numbers 3 & 4 – Usually play inside the wingers. Once again there are two centres in a team. Typically, unlike rugby union, centres will play specifically on one side of the field and will form an attacking partnership with their wingers to create tries. Centres must be quick, strong and good decision makers in both attack and defence.
Toronto Wolfpack: Craig Hall, Greg Worthington
Stand off – Shirt number 6 – One of the two ‘half backs/play makers’ in a rugby league team. A stand offs primary role will to control the game alongside the scrum half. The stand off is one part of the brains of the team. Often possessing a strong range of passing and kicking skills, they will dictate the attacking plays for the team and will often defend out wide to avoid being targeted.
Toronto Wolfpack: Blake Wallace
Scrum half – Shirt number 7 – The second half of the ‘playmaking/halfback’ partnership. Scrum halves are often seen as the chief organisers and will usually control the opposite side of the field to their half back partner, setting up and executing plays for the centres, wingers and fullback to finish at the end. Having a strong passing and kicking game is also crucial in this position.
Toronto Wolfpack: Rhys Jacks, Ryan Brierley