The aim of this study was to examine the movement demands of senior elite rugby league with consideration of the impact of player position and match phase. A semi-automated match analysis image recognition system (ProZone 3, ProZone®, Leeds, England) was used to track
78 players during three senior elite matches. Players were categorised as outside backs (n = 30), pivots (n = 18), props (n = 12) or back row (n = 18). Total Distance (TD) covered, work-to-rest ratio (WRR) and % total time (%TT) spent in each of seven selected locomotive categories were determined
for defending, attacking, ball in play and ball out of play phases. Analysis revealed that during the 86.8 min of match time, the mean TD covered was 8,503 ± 631 m, with pivots (8,800 ± 581 m) and outside backs (8,142 ± 630 m) covering the most and least distances, respectively.
For pivots, props and back row players, defending resulted in a significantly lower WRR than when attacking (P < 0.05). Outside backs had significantly higher WRRs for ball in play and defending than all other positional groups (P < 0.05). The time-motion data presented in this study
provides position-specific benchmarks for assessing match performance.