Rugby is a grueling sport requiring power, speed, agility, and sometimes grimacing explosive burst of energy. The proper rugby workout in the weight lifting gym can take your play to the extreme.
Designing your rugby workout is going to require you think carefully about your position. If you are a winger who need explosive acceleration, speed, and strong hand and shoulders to fight off opposing players, your needs are very different from a hooker who needs size and massive power. By choosing your exercises to match your position you can improve dramatically.
As an example, a winger should not spend a massive amount of time building muscle bulk, it is not needed. You would be much better served working on explosive speed and quickness. Use plyometric exercises like the box jump to increase you explosiveness. Use a variety of heights of boxes leaping quickly up on to the box, and then leaping back down. For a winger the landing and movement after hitting the ground is critical. On every fourth leap, land and then sprint. On the first sprint go hard to the left. The next sprint go hard to the right. On the final sprint, run backwards. Sprinting 2 to 5 yards is adequate.
A winger should work on having strong hands, arms, and shoulders, too. This can be accomplished with tricep extensions, barbell curls, and military presses. Work in higher reps, at about 15 to 20 reps per set. You are not concerned with bulk, but more with strength and endurance.
As a hooker your requirements are very different. You need massive bulk and pushing power. Bench presses, squats, and deadlifts should be the core of your training on one day per week. On another day, do Olympic lifts, specifically the power clean. By using this combination of lift you are going to develop mass, power, and explosiveness. If your opponents are not hitting the weights with the same intensity they will not be able to stand up to your power.
For the hooker you are wanting to vary your workouts. As mentioned above do heavy lifting 1 day each week for each style of power gaining. Keep the reps very low in the range of 2 to 5 reps working to maximize power gains, working with 80 to 100% of the maximum weight you can handle. Always strive to improve in each workout. You may wish to add another day or two of weight lifting to your schedule depending on your rugby workouts. You do not want to overtrain. If you do add two more days, these days are not for heavy lifting, but for speed lifting with lighter weights. This helps to develop fast twitch muscles, and increase muscle endurance. Never train over 1 hour.
No matter what position you play in rugby you can evaluate your needs and design a simple rugby workout in the weight room. You can develop power, explosiveness, and speed which makes your team unstoppable. The best teams are the ones who train like professionals.