Right wing – the master of the step

Cheslin Kolbe leaving Owen Farrell for dead

The right wing will often be the 2nd fastest player in your team, but there would be none that come close to them in terms of their stepping ability. One of the truly legendary examples has got to be Shane Williams. I know he played most of his rugby on the left, but his attributes were the mould on which the modern-day right wing was built. The most exciting of them in world rugby has got to be Cheslin Kolbe.

The most memorable example of his amazing stepping was on display in the World Cup final in 2019 when he left Owen Farrell for dead.

The right wing is also one of the positions that are being filled by smaller players on a more regular basis. One of the reasons for this is their low centre of gravity that enables them to step the way they do.

Attributes of a right wing

A right wing is not always a small player, but the trend globally is that there are more and more small players slotting into this position.

Playing with the 14 on your back still requires you to have:

  • a wicked step
  • top straight-line speed
  • fearless tackling ability
  • an eye for a small space to get through
  • the ability to catch the ball at full speed
  • exceptional core strength

How a right wing can effectively be used at different age levels

When kids are in primary school it is often not difficult finding smaller players. The fastest of the lot who can get around players will be a good option for a right wing.

At primary school level the bigger challenge is getting ball from the centres to the wing, rather than the wing being able to execute on those skills.

At this young age the player should focus on:

A right wing is a natural finisher and should have the ability to identify the gaps and get through them. Focusing on those two points seem simple, but it starts to train muscle memory.

As the player gets into their teens the focus should be on building exceptional core strength and leg strength. This is to enable them to step off both feet and be able to accelerate quickly.