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Rugby/Loosehead Prop help please


Dear Nick,

I was wondering if you could give me any advice on playing as a Loose head Prop?

I have been playing the game for around 10 years and have always played as a Hooker but as I have got older I seem to have been moved to the loose head slot. I am playing at a decent adult club level for England but nothing too high.

I am 5"9 and 90 kg.  I am happy in the loose and lifting in the lineout. The problem I am having is scrum time against bigger technical tight heads. If you have any tips to help in the Scrum I'd really appreciate it.

Many thanks.

Scott Hartley.

Hi Scott,

I have a lot of past answers to this question, if you get a moment I would try to go back and have a look at them. I will try to put some core principles here.

I am a huge fan of using Youtube to get tips. Professional coaches like Mike Cron the All Blacks scrum coach put up videos all the time.

Mike Cron:

This is a more advanced link, Tony Woodcock on Ben Franks:

Here is a link of technique  / body position which you should treat as your gospel:


The basic thing about loose head is knowing your core duties in the scrum.

A loose head has to simultaneously create a suitable position for his hooker to hook which will be even more important with the new scrum call of "crouch. bind, set" and a big part of that is destabilizing the tight head who's job it is to remain solid and still/ anchored.

If a loose head can get his head under the sternum of the T.H. and drop his right shoulder on the T.H.'s head he will be able to control the tight head well. You must keep a strong and forceful grip on the T.H. use it as a destabilizing tool not just a place to hold. Never allow a scrum to collapse. Look at the video that analyzes Tony Woodcock. he is a master of this.

Get the basics understood and come back to me with specific questions or feel free to have all your scrums on video for me to review.

Keep in mind the use of your lock and flankers power. You channel that. Imagine getting them to have good technique and increasing their power by 10% and you focus more on you technique. You'll get 20 more power channeled properly. It is an exponential result greater than the sum of its parts.  


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Nick Vujnovich


I can answer most questions in detail but I am best used for "Forward" positions especially the "tight 5" and the scrum. I am a front row guy myself. I have good knowledge of game strategy and tactics. I cannot give detailed help with kicking myself but I can suggest general training applications and point you towards good resources. I am a New Zealander living in Southern California, USA. With regard to fitness or weight training: please understand that you are best going to a gym and getting first hand consultation from a qualified trainer. The risk of injury is too great for me to simply give you a program without being able to analyze your fitness or capabilities in person. I really suggest going through my previously answered questions as well. The most common repeat questions refer to tackling.


I have played rugby from the age of 5 (I am 41 now) I have played "Premier" rugby in New Zealand, London, California, Colorado. I have coached youth, Mens and Womens rugby.

College Degree

Awards and Honors
Forwards MVP 2004 Season Back Bay Sharks, Newport Beach Ca., Division 1.

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