Boot Recommendations for a Fullback (no.15)

The custodians at the back, the Fullback directs those in front of him, pointing out defensive weaknesses in the opposition and alerting his team-mates to developing threats. The Fullback is the last line of defence; the player often called upon to put his body on the line to save a try or put boot to ball to relieve pressure for his team.

But a Fullback is also an attacking weapon! Hitting the line at pace, the Fullback must be quick and powerful. The best Fullbacks are inherently reliable on defence, as safe as houses under the high ball, adept at punting the ball, and full of X-factor on attack. Their boots reflect the nature of their role on the field, which, whether on defence or attack, frequently requires explosive bursts of speed. Their boots must offer traction, the ability to change direction on a dime, and a lightweight finish which ensures nothing detracts from their top-end speed.

Here are some of the best boots on the market currently for Fullbacks -

adidas RS7 – The lightest rugby boot ever produced by the German apparel giant, the RS7 was designed and developed with an unyielding focus on speed and agilty. The SprintSkin upper and the TPU outsole ensure the boots barely trouble the scales, while the intelligently positioned studs guarantee the traction to accelerate and change direction in dynamic fashion.

Nike Mercurial Superfly & Vapor – Nike's Mercurial Superfly and Vapor boots offer super lightweight boot options for fullbacks. The Superfly utilises a raised Dynamic Fit Collar for a super comfortable sock-like feel and fit while the Vapor is now tongue-less which makes the fit much more customisable and better fitting.

Puma evoSPEED – With a unique configuration of rounded, moulded studs the EvoSpeed provides both power and stability, while the lightweight finish ensures speed is never sacrificed. A premium fit is delivered by the centralised lacing system and the sturdy heel counter.

Asics Lethal Testimonial – Soft K-Leather across the upper provides a supple, natural finish in this high-performance boot, featuring a 10mm heel wedge which holds the foot in a dynamic position, ensuring the wearer is always poised for action. Lightweight and manufactured to the highest standards, the Lethal Testimonial is a boot for those who are serious about their game.

The Position

The full back often has greater opportunity, time and space to read the game as it unfolds in front of him in attack or defence than the players in front of him. The ability to read the game and to anticipate what happens next is a key quality in a full back.

When attacking he should look to be involved by either being a strike runner (coming from depth into a gap and receiving a ball) or acting as a decoy runner to hold the attention of the defence. The full back can vary where he comes in to the line, but should do so at pace. If the ball is kicked into his own half, the full back should look to link up with other players such as his wingers and counter attack.

In defence he is often the last line of defence. He should help to organise the defence, as he has a wider vision than most players. If a player makes a break, he should shorten the thinking time of the attacker by moving towards him in a controlled manner, shepherding him towards the touchline. As plays unfold the full back should move across so he is outside the ball carrier