Myprotein weighs in the Six Nations

The Six Nations is almost upon us and as always there’s plenty of intrigue into which team is likely to be the most physically imposing. The evolution in the size of rugby players since the sport turned professional in 1995 has been astonishing and the 2017 edition of the Six Nations is set to be bigger than ever, quite literally.

The professionalisation of the sport has allowed players, teams and staff to concentrate full time on trying to gain an advantage over their rivals, with a whole host of specialists now focussing on such things as planning, tactics, weight training, nutrition, rest and recovery. took a look at the stats behind the frames, courtesy of each official RFU website, to see who would be packing the most weight when the teams take to the pitch this February and March.

With all players fighting fit, the heaviest anticipated starting XV is set to be Wales at a scale-damaging 1591kg, a figure that is 23kg heavier than their chart-topping total from two years ago. This makes for a huge average player weight of 106.1kg! Although Wales haven’t got the biggest pack, their almost logic-defying back line makes up for this with four players – George North, Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Davies and Alex Cuthbert – all weighing over 100kg. Compare this to England who have the lightest backline at 639kg, some 43kg short of the Welsh. Not far off Wales’ weight in the backs department is Scotland who are just 8kg off.

The biggest pack belongs to France at 936kg, with a fair share of this belonging to the huge forward Uini Atonio who weighs 142kg. Despite having the lightest backline, England have the second heaviest pack at 921kg which should give them an advantage over the likes of Italy whose pack will weigh around 878kg.

With such massive weights crashing into each other at high speeds, it’s inevitable that some huge impacts and forces are going to be created. Interestingly and rather eye-wateringly, elite scrum engagement forces can reach levels similar to the impact of a 30mph car crash. To put this into another sporting context, such forces are three times more powerful than a typical knockout punch by an Olympic heavyweight boxer.

It’s clear that the trend is upwards. Even the traditionally smaller players who occupy the backs positions – where you have to be fast and nimble – have grown enormously in size. This reflects a wider appetite for non-sports people to put on weight in the form of muscle mass.

Every month in the UK, people take to Google in the quest to emulate sportsmen and women, such as these rugby players, and become bigger and better versions of themselves. A look into keyword search volumes tells us that ‘weight gainer shakes’ is searched for on average 4,400 times a month, ‘protein shakes’ 49,500 times, and longer-tail queries such as ‘how to gain weight’ reach 6,600 searches per month. 

Myprotein caters for such queries by providing a range of quality-led supplements from a variety of whey protein varieties to more specialised weight and mass gainer shakes. In the past 90 days Myprotein’s main protein page has been clicked on from Google over 8,000 times. The more specialised Weight Gainer page has been clicked on organically over 1,200 times, which is almost double that of the Weight Loss page. Just like the stars of the Six Nations, people’s appetite to grow muscle is evident and with the domination of digital and the information and products to boot, it is products to help them do so are easily accessible and their targets highly achievable.

You can find out more information and weight comparisons of the six nations 2017 here.

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