OBJECTIVE: A comparative study of elite New Zealand and South African u/16 rugby players with special reference to game-specific skills, physical abilities and anthropometric data.
DESIGN AND SETTINGS: A battery of tests was used to obtain information concerning a group of elite New Zealand players (N=24) and two elite South African groups (N=64). Information was obtained for game-specific skills, physical abilities, and anthropometric data.
RESULTS: The New Zealand players outperformed the South African players in game-specific tests, physical abilities, and anthropometric measurements. Where the South African groups performed better than the New Zealand group, it was not practically significant.
CONCLUSION: South African rugby authorities should be cognisant of the areas where South African u/16 rugby players were outperformed by their New Zealand counterparts, and consequently develop specific development programmes to address these shortcomings.