The East Terrace - For the rugby football enthusiast

Futuristic Fifteen-Man Rugby

Futuristic Fifteen-Man Rugby
Published by Bert & Margo Holcroft

By Bert Holcroft

Futuristic Fifteen-Man Rugby is part of a series of books and CD-ROMs on rugby coaching and rugby fitness by Bert Holcroft.

Holcroft has an excellent coaching pedigree and a rich background of experience in both league and union (indeed, the second book of this series deals with the 13-man version of the game). As well as covering modern tactics and techniques, other parts of the series deal specifically with fitness and preparation for modern rugby.

The aim of this series - forwarded by Sir Clive Woodward - is to bring Holcroft’s ideas and innovations to a wider audience; in particular, the grass roots level.

Rugby, like most things in life, tends to give you back what you put in. Anyone approaching this range of books should not be expecting a range of quick fix solutions to dramatically improve their rugby career or that of their team. What they will find is a wealth of information at their disposal that, if utilised properly, will almost certainly enhance their understanding of how best to prepare and train for rugby.

The series will be of particular use to committed amateur coaches who are dedicated to seriously improving the fitness and skills of their team. An individual player, working on their own, may find less to take from some of the titles in the series. However, a driven individual will certainly benefit from adapting some of the fitness programs offered in Book 3 of the series: Fitness Analysis for Sport. This title gives a detailed guide to the fitness levels needed for elite rugby and the methods and programs the author’s feel are best adopted to meet those levels.

There is also an Elite Fitness Program available on disc (Excel format), designed to allow coaches to assess and analyse the fitness and progress of their team as they undertake the fitness programs encouraged by the authors. It could be a useful tool for the enthusiastic coach.

Whilst the series has many positive aspects, less committed readers may find themselves put off by the dryness of the text or baffled by the use of scientific terms and phrases. It’s a shame, because the one of the chapters in the main book which offers advice on a rugby player’s diet is written clearly and simply, making it easy to follow. Something that perhaps could have benefited the rest of the series.

Similarly, the layout and visual design of the series is not on a par with the glossy style of other rugby coaching and fitness manuals available on the market. But only the more fussy reader will be bothered by this, the content is key and there is certainly no lack of depth in that respect. The authors clearly know their stuff but some may find it heavy going.

In conclusion, if you are seriously committed to improving either your own fitness or skills, or that of your team, then you may well find this series of books of immense value.

For more information on Holcroft’s titles, please visit: