The purpose of this study was to assess the performance of elite rugby league players by using the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test. Fifty players were recruited to the study during preseason and were classified as professional (P) or semiprofessional (SP). All performed the level 1 Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test. Total distance achieved was taken as the performance index. Physiological (heart rate and blood lactate) correlates of performance were also assessed. Results showed that P players achieved a greater total distance than did SP players (p > 0.05). End heart rates did not differ significantly (p < 0.05). Semiprofessional players had significantly lower end blood lactate values than did P players (p < 0.05). Relationships between test performance and physiological variables were not significant (p > 0.05). These findings showed that P and SP players performed the test at a comparable level. Physiological indices indicated that performance was near maximal. The test is considered a useful measure of intermittent high-intensity performance for rugby league players.
(C) 2006 National Strength and Conditioning Association