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Cockney4league

Five-Eighth

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Was just reading up on Darren Lockyer and it says he played this position. What position is a five-eighth and why do the Aussies call it that?

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Yeah - Australians are into vulgar fractions for some reason. It's a standoff. Halfway between a half and a three quarter.

Sometimes they have a first five-eighth and a second five-eighth. I'm not sure why the second five eighth never became an eleven sixteenth.

But that's Aussies for you - full of inconsistencies.

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The position is known to English-speakers ;) as Stand-off.

 

Five-eighth is a of an bit old-fashioned term, just as Wingers were referred to as 'Wing three-quarters' and likewise for Centres. The Aussies sometimes also refer to the Hooker as a 'Rake'.

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And a loose forward is a lock - instead of a three-eighth. Baffling.

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The term comes from New Zealand rugby before the great schism. The 5/8th name supposedly came from the fact that their half-backs stood slightly further back.

 

Another explanation is that the stand-off was the first of five backs that the ball could be given to by the scrum half hence "first five". (The inside centre being the "second five").

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And a loose forward is a lock - instead of a three-eighth. Baffling.

Loose forwards didn't have to bind and could break away from the scrum early as opposed to the "tight 5" (props, locks and hookers) who had to stay bound.

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Loose forwards didn't have to bind and could break away from the scrum early as opposed to the "tight 5" (props, locks and hookers) who had to stay bound.

In the UK. But a lock (or three eighth, as I prefer to call him) is a loose forward in Australia, not a second rower.

A lock in the UK is not a term I recognize as RL. It's a Union word.

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In the UK. But a lock (or three eighth, as I prefer to call him) is a loose forward in Australia, not a second rower.

A lock in the UK is not a term I recognize as RL. It's a Union word.

No, but it was in use before the "great schism" so it's part of the cultural heritage of rugby league.

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