Boot Recommendations for Scrum-Halves
Sniping around the fringes, nipping at the ankles of the big men in the forward pack, and even yapping at the referee - the life of a halfback is a high-energy, fast-paced one which never relents. More than any other player a Halfback needs to be mobile. They are expected to make it to every breakdown, where they must quickly establish a stable platform for themselves, retrieve the ball, and deliver it to their team-mates for the next phase of play.
Halfbacks are expected to be able to kick as well, employing a variety of techniques including the box-kick, the grubber and the chip. Their boots must offer protection around the fore-foot (they are, afterall, frequently mixing it up with the forwards), be light enough to ensure nothing hinders their ability to sneak through a gap when the opportunity arises, and also offer something when kicking.
Here are some of the best boots on the market currently for Halfbacks -
adidas Predator Incurza – A highly advanced boot produced with input from some of the world's leading players the Predator Incurza offers a superior fit through the off-centre, adjustable lacing system, which also contributes to an increased surface area when kicking. The hybrid sole plate blends moulded and removable studs and ensures the finished product is suitable for use on a wide variety of natural surfaces.
Nike Magista – Boasting a range of innovations designed to enhance control and support whilst delivering superior traction and comfort, the Magista Obra and Opus are a favourite with those that control the game. Nike's patented FlyKnit and ACC technology means weather and ground conditions are never an issue on the Obra. The 3D Knit Texture creates friction with the ball, enhancing power and accuracy when kicking. The Obra and Opus are pro level options best suited for scrum halves who like to box kick.
Puma evoPOWER – The latest offering in Puma's immensely successful evoPOWER range features an all-over AdapLite upper allowing the boot to mould to the wearer's foot. The AccuFoam across the instep and striking region aids kickers, the hybrid combination of studs ensures optimal traction, and the GSF outsole adds the bare minimum of weight to these exceedingly light boots.
The Scrum-half is the key player in the team and at the centre of all that happens. He is the link between the forwards and backs and as such he tends to be the first decision maker on plays.
Most scrum halfs tend to be the smaller players as they need to quickly get in and out of situations. Their skillset requires that they can pass of both hands without delay and from any position. They ideally will be able to kick with either foot. They need quick acceleration and speed. In defence they need to be tenacious tacklers often taking down big forwards as they are the first line of defence around the scrum or breakdown.
With all these skills the majority are also cheeky outspoken guys who can bark orders to the big forwards and get results. With these attributes scrum-halfs will have their own boot preference, however our thoughts are that they need a boot which is lightweight, but robust and not necessarily long lasting as they will take a lot out of their boots in a short period of time.