15s is a testing game on your fitness, but perhaps more on your muscles, ligaments and bones. You can be as fit as you want, but if you break a leg, you'll be out for months. Thats why its so important to do as much "prehab" strengthening as possible to prevent injuries in season. This strength work, combined with so improvements in cardiovascular ability, will set you up perfectly for the physical test that is rugby union.
Here are some essential exersizes to include in your strength work.
-Walking lunge with resistance
This exercise will challenge your core, the muscles around your hips and build real-world hip stability. You'll add weight to yourself by holding a belt over one shoulder and looping the other end around your opposite ankle. Keep you back straight not to mention trying to keep opposite knee from sinking toward the ground. Hold for 30 seconds at three different positions: in front of you (top), behind (bottom) and on either side (halfway through). Repeat 3 times.
Another good strength exercise is power clean. It's an explosive lift using Kettlebells or dumbells that also targets traps, hamstrings, glutes and quads while building grip strength too.
-"Wall Ball" Squats (One foot in front of you, one behind. You squat down until your hips are at right angles and then drive up explosively)
-Bridges on the bench with a weight between your legs. Lift your back off the ground while holding the bar for time or reps. If using weights, be sure to use an amount that is safe for your strength level - one that will challenge your body safely but not too heavy so as to strain it). Ensure you can get "all the way up" before adding any extra load. This ensures good form and protects hamstrings, hips and lower back.
-Side Lying Clam Shells - one of the most underused exercises for hamstring/glute strength.
-"Bulging" your chest with dumbells - to give you that extra physical presence when running into defenders or just for looking good in the changing room...joking aside this is a useful exercise if done correctly to strengthen your chest muscles. But remember not to overdo it. One set to failure 2-3 times a week is fine, more than that can lead to injury or chronic fatigue leading into season.
-Sled pulls are excellent at improving leg drive and developing explosiveness while putting little strain on the joints like sprinting or
Now that you're ripped to shreds and bulked up, you don't want to completely forget about your fitness. There's plenty of different ways to improve fitness, but nothing as rewarding and beneficial as single down touch rugby. You want between 6-9 people on each team, playing on a full field. This improves skills and gets your lungs burning. For ideal results, play for an hour at 1pm with no waterbreaks.
(All activities should be done under the supervision of a qualified trainer or physiotherapist)