Rugby lock

A rugby lock provides power in the scrum and soars to great heights in the line-out. Height and weight needed. Is this where you will be good.


Of the 8 'forwards' in a team, three form the front row in scrums

right behind them - and I mean right behind!

are the two players called locks.

Locks are more vizible in lineouts, where they can be seen leaping for the ball like this

Rugby locks leaping for the ball in a lineout Rugby locks leaping for the ball in a lineout

The more the locks resemble substantial columns, towers of strength, the better!

  • Height is great
  • Lots of muscle is good
  • Weight is good

  • Handling ability is good
  • Agility is good
  • Mobility is good

in addition

  • Neck strength is useful, guarding against pressures in scrums
  • Weight and leg power are important for pushing, leaping

In scrums

In scrums, locks bind to each other and to the props.

When the ball has been put into the scrum the locks provide power and balance to help manoeuvre the scrum or keep it stable.

The locks also guide the ball smoothly through to the rear of the scrum for the scrum-half to take possession.

In lineouts

When the ball goes out of play over the sideline, play is restarted with a lineout.

Locks, with their height advantage, are the main targets when the ball is thrown into the lineout by the hooker.

As line-outs are frequent the team relies on locks for a good share of possession.

You should win your own throw. Doing that consistently needs good locks, combined with good strategy, good throws from the hooker and good lifts from the props - a huge amount of skillful co-operation.

A fair amount of fakery is needed. As a lock you change positions in the line-out so you can hide your intentions.

Yes, acting ability is useful in rugby! Make the opposition think one thing then do something different.

Often at the top of the jump the lock will catch the ball and use agility to throw it to the scrum-half without pausing

Or if needed, may bring the ball down to ground level and combine with the other forwards to drive ahead towards the opposition goal-line.

When the opposition throws the ball into the line-out - the locks defend.

One way to defend is to work out where the ball is going and jump to disrupt or even win possession.

Another way is to remain on the ground and concentrate on making sure you prevent breaks through the line, especially when close to your own goal-line.

In general play

Even though locks are big players they are expected to be and need to be mobile.

When a tackle occurs forwards arrive and struggle for possesion.

Locks are not the first to arrive but good locks will be close behind the first arrivals.

Locks provide much of the power the "go forward" in rucks and mauls which follow a tackle.

They also provide the physical "presence" to maintain possession before moving the ball to the backs.

The player sizes pages give information about the size of locks.

The lock is expected to do much more than used to be the case. To run and handle well is now very much more part of the package.

The rugby lock is a mobile, skillful, agile, tower of strength!

I don`t recall seeing one sidestep, maybe you will be the first!