Understanding maul’s, ruck’s and scrum’s can take some practice girls, even for the more experienced Rugby fan!

Add that to mastering the line out’s, and drop goals.. and you may need a helping hand. Hopefully you’ll find that with our Rugby glossary..


Backs: These are the group of players usually numbered 9 -15 who do not participate in “scrums” and “line-outs”, except for the scrumhalf.

Blinding: The movement where players grip hold of each other to form a secure “scrum” or “ruck”.

Blindside: Is the short side of the field, from a set piece either, a “line-out”, “scrum”, “ruck” or “maul”.

Cap: Similar to in Football. Anytime a player plays in a match they are technically awarded a cap. This is most commonly practiced with international teams. A cap is very similar to an “appearance”.

Charge Down: The blocking of a kick by the opposing player.

Chip Kick: Is a short kick, in the air, over the head of the opposition. Is usually on the run, to then be caught again by the “kicker”.

Conversion: After scoring a try, the scoring team will kick the ball through the uprights from any point on an imaginary line from where the ball was touched down. The conversion is worth 2 points.

Dirty Annie: Is also known as an “Up and Under” or “Garry Owen”. Is a very high and shallow kick, allowing players to run underneath it for some recovery time.

Drop Goal: A drop goal can be scored at any time during a game by kicking the ball through the uprights after it has been dropped and touched the ground. A drop goal is worth 3 points.

Eightman: Is usually the fastest loose-forward in the team. They are placed at the rear of the scrum and control the ball with their feet, passing it on to the “scrum half.”

Feed: The feed occurs when the “scrumhalf” rolls the ball along the ground, into the scrum.

Flankers: A position played amongst the forwards, either as blind side or open side. Role is to retain and gain possession in a “ruck” or a “maul.”

Fly Half: Is usually the tactical player who calls the set moves and is quick thinking. They are also the kicker in the team.

Foot Up: An action where the “hooker” puts their foot into the scrum tunnel, before the ball is placed by the “scrumhalf.”

Forwards: The group of players normally numbered 1-8. These are the players that form the “scums” and “line-out”.

Front Row: The name for the “Prop-Hooker-Prop” grouping at the front of a scrum.

Full Back: Is the last line of defence.

Gate: Used to describe the imaginary area at the centre back of a “ruck” or “maul” where players must position themselves if they are to join.

Grubber: An attacking movement. Occurs when the ball is kicked and then bounces and rolls along the ground with the intention of being recollected by the attacking team.

Hooker: Is the front row forward, Number 2 position. The Hooker is required to gain possession of the ball in the scrum by hooking or blocking the ball with their feet.

Jumper: Is the name of a player in a line-out, usually at the two, four and six positions, who jumps and is pushed upwards to catch or intercept the throw.

Knock On: Is the action of dropping, or knocking the ball forward from a player’s hand.

Line Out: The movement that restarts play after the ball has been taken out or kicked to touch.

Loose Forwards: These are the flankers and eight man.

Loose Head: Is in the front row and is left side of the “Hooker”. Number 1 position.

Maul: A maul occurs when the player with the ball in hand, but not taken to the ground and players from both sides bind together to push the ball and player forward. The difference from a ruck is that the ball is not on the ground.

Open Side: From a set piece, it is the open, larger side of the field.

Pack: Another name for all the forward players.

Penalty Try: The awarding of a try due to a violation, that has prevented an obvious try from being scored.

Place Kick: When the ball is kicked whilst resting on the ground. Either placed in an indention in the pitch, or from a kicking tee.

Ruck: A ruck is formed when three players from both teams bind together over the ball, whilst it is on the ground to try and push over and gain possession once again.

Scrum: A scrum occurs when each team’s forwards lock together in a set manner The formation used in the restarting of play after a knock-on or forward pass.

ScrumHalf: These players form the all important link between the forwards and the backs.

Second Row:  Are the players that wear either number 4 or 5, or can refer to the second row of the “scrum”

Set Piece: Term referring to the ”lineout” or the “scrum”

Sevens: Refers to the version of rugby played by only seven players on each team. Played on a full size pitch, however with 7 minutes per half.

Strong side: Another term used for “open side”

Swallow Dive: The term used to describe a “swallow” type jump/dive (arms stretched out in front) over the try line.

Touch: Out of bounds line.

Touch Judge: An official positioned on each side of the pitch to mark the spot where balls go out of touch.

Touch, Pause, Engage: Refers to the order of call given by the official at the start of the scrum.

Try: The main method of scoring in Rugby. In rugby union a try is worth 5 points. The ball must be place on the ground in the “try zone”

Try Zone: The equivalent of an “end zone” in American football, e.g the scoring zone.

Tunnel: Is the space between the front rows in the “scrum.”

Up and Over: Similar to the Garry Owen, or a Dirty Annie (see above)

Weak side: Another term used for the “blind side”

Wingers: Are positioned down the sides of the field and often are the players to score the tries. These are commonly the quickest players in the team.


One response to “Rugby

  1. I have really enjoyied reading your well written article. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work!

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