I have recently moved to a new city and want to join a sports team here. I have played football (soccer) for about 20 years (since I was 6), but am thinking about changing to rugby. I have gotten tired of all the complaining to the ref and to each other during football, and from what I have heard, this is much much better in rugby. Also, I think the sport would suit me. I am a very physical player in football, and rely for a large part on my strength and stamina.

But I do have some hesitations. Has anyone experienced this, or are there any rugby players who know about football players that changed to rugby? What are key differences? How important is ball control in rugby? Or is it really more based on strength/stamina? Is it difficult to learn how to position yourself in rugby? Do you think the transition would be easy? I couldn't find anything about this on internet, that is why I am asking you guys. Some hints/tips would be much appreciated!


Frankly, they're pretty much completely different games. Football is a light contact sport where your primary skill is playing the ball with the feet, or stopping the opposition playing the ball with their feet; rubgy is a full contact sport where your primary skill is carrying the ball, or stopping the opposition carrying the ball.

Both sports obviously involve some of the same physical fitness attributes, particularly sprinting ability and general cardiovascular fitness, and you say that you're physically strong which is always going to be an advantage... but don't expect any of your actual football skills to carry over: even the kicking in rugby is almost completely different due to the spherical ball, and even something like being aware of which teammates are available to pass to is different due to the offside rules in rugby.

The transition isn't going to be easy, particularly if you're talking about union rather than league (union is a much more technical sport due to scrums, rucks and mauls), but that's not to say you can't make a success of it in the long run.

  • Thanks for the reply, very helpful! On to the pondering :). – Tommele Dec 10 '16 at 0:46

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