Flanker (rugby union)

Flanker is a position in the sport of rugby union. Each team of 15 players includes two flankers, who play in the forwards,[1] and are generally classified as either blindside or openside flankers, numbers 6 and 7 respectively. The name comes from their position in a scrum in which they 'flank' each set of forwards. They compete for the ball – most commonly in rucks and mauls. Flankers also assist in pushing in a scrum, but are expected to detach from the scrum as soon as the ball is out to get to the play before the opposition's forwards. Flankers also participate in line-outs, either being lifted to contest or win possession, or to lift other players. Flankers are usually the key participants in the tackling process.[1] The flankers, especially the openside, are often the fastest forwards on the team but still relied upon for tackling.

In the rugby union scrum formation, the flankers (numbered 6 and 7) are located on the 'flanks' of the two forward packs.

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