Being fast and adept at handling the ball are ideal traits to have in rugby, but if you're not strong enough to run through a tackle or bring down an opponent, you'll quickly find yourself standing on the sidelines. In order to get in game shape for the rugby season, sport-specific circuit training helps develop your body to be explosive on both sides of the ball. The key to circuit training is to move quickly through each exercise before resting.
Box jumps help improve your explosiveness for a wide range of sports, including rugby. In a sport in which quick, powerful moves are vital to success, box jumps will help you develop strength in your lower body and core. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart beside a box up to 2 feet in height. Bend at the knees and waist and, with your feet together, jump vertically onto the box and back down in one motion. Aim for 10 reps before moving to the next exercise.
Regular pushups work your arms, chest, back and shoulders, but power pushups aided by a medicine ball help you develop explosive speed that will help you in rugby. Assume the pushup position and place a medicine ball under your chest. Explode up and place your left hand on the ball and your right hand on the floor beside the ball. Push up again and place your right hand on the ball with your left hand on the floor. Continue this exercise, alternating between hands, in sets of 10.
Boxers use the heavy bag to not only practice their punching, but improve their footwork and the speed and power of their hands. Because all three areas are important for rugby players, working the heavy bag in 1-minute rounds is a key component of circuit training. Your boxing technique doesn't have to be refined; what matters most is raising your heart rate and regulating your output so you can finish each round strong.
Acceleration is important at several times in a game of rugby. Being able to accelerate quickly and catch an opponent to wrestle him to the ground or maneuver away from an opponent is an asset. As such, sprints are an integral part of any rugby circuit training workout. The distance doesn't have to be long; try sprinting 25 or 30 feet and focus on the initial burst so that you reach your maximum speed in as few strides as possible.