RUGBY SKILLS: HOW TO LIFT A TEAM-MATE

Lifts are performed at the lineout. It is an important skill to master. Get it right and you'll give the jumper every chance of catching the ball. 

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At lineouts, all eyes are always on the jumpers, who have to catch the ball. The lifters also play a vital role, however. Permitted in the laws of the game since 1995, lifting gives the jumper a stable base from which they are able to reach as high as they possibly can.

Stanislas Tiberghien, a back rower with Olympique Marcquois Rugby in France's fourth tier, tells us how to do the perfect lift.

1. POSITIONING

The positioning of the two lifters is vitally important. They must each take up a specific position. 

“To do a good lift, the lifters need to have their feet wider apart than the jumper does, they need to keep their backs straight, and they need to bend their knees to be able to take proper hold of the jumper. The front lifter should place their hands below the jumper's knees. The rear lifter should position their hands at the bottom of the jumper's buttocks.”

2. TIMING

To ensure the jumper has a stable platform from which to jump and does not lose balance, the two lifters have to time their movements right. 

“Once the two lifters are in position, timing becomes crucial. They must push upwards with their legs first of all and then their arms. When the jumper is up in the air they have to lock their shoulders to keep the jumper up there.”

3. THE ROLE OF THE JUMPER

The jumper's job is to catch the ball and to do that they need to adopt a specific position. 

“It's essential that the jumper has a good base. They have to stay strong, keep their backs straight and bend their knees in readiness for the jump. They need to have their hands pointing towards the ball before the jump. The jumper starts to jump, the lifters support them and then hold them at the highest possible position. It's at this point that the jumper catches the ball. They can then either pass it straight to the scrum-half or hold on to it to build a maul.”

Here's our advice on how to do the perfect lift. Get out there and play!