In the rugby off-season, players do not always have the time or self motivation to keep themselves in match condition. This means that pre-season is nearly always about reaching a bench mark of fitness rather than match play.
By playing Footy 9s, the level of aerobic fitness of the individual is therefore maintained during what would be down time in the rugby season. This can only benefit the player, the coach and the club.
The hand eye co-ordination required is much more apparent in Footy 9s where the ball is effectively punched out of one hand by the other hand. It is also done primarily on the run and whilst avoiding defenders. Although the traditional rugby pass is illegal, the skills incorporated are easily adapted and are beneficial to rugby players.
The game of Footy 9s is more about avoiding contact rather than controlling it. The evasion skills incorporated in the movement away from defenders are beneficial to rugby players.
Kicking in Footy 9s is a much more deliberate end over end punt aimed at accuracy rather than kicking for distance. The skills utilised are a big advantage to the rugby player who can effectively use the kick as a form of pass.
Catching in Footy 9s is aimed at jumping and catching the ball high above the player’s head, skills which can hugely benefit rugby players.
In rugby invariably the defender is in the field of vision of the ball carrier. In Footy 9s they come from all angles and can easily be out of view of the ball carrier. The communication skills developed when assisting the ball carrier to be aware of the defenders are clearly beneficial to the player during a game of rugby.