Rugby, what is the Bronco test and what is it for

Francesco Della Chic, who is responsible for the physical preparation of the zebra, explains why the Bronco test has become one of the most widely used methods for assessing aerobic capacity in the world: “It really is an exercise in itself…”

Francesco Palma

Best known for thanks to the “record” set by Bewden Barrett opening half of the All Blacks able to complete it in 4 minutes 12 seconds, the Bronco Test is one of the most widely used methods for assessing aerobic ability in the rugby world. Francesco Della Cech, who is in charge of physical training for zebra, explained to Gazzetta Active what it is: “It is a test that measures aerobic ability, which has been in rugby for a few years. In terms of practicality and timing, it is easier to apply than other tests such as the Leger test, Its duration ranges from 4 to 6 minutes. It is a series of round trip “buses” of 20, 40 and 60 metres, repeated 5 times in succession, with a total of 1200 metres.

What is a bronco test?

The Bronco test is a very useful indicator in evaluating not only a player’s aerobic capacity, but also his state of “trainability” and form: “It is a broken and fragmented race, and therefore attributed to ‘mode’ sports such as rugby, or even football. It allows us to obtain aerobic speed The player’s maximum, which is the maximum speed at which we are below the threshold. By exceeding it, we begin to produce excess lactic acid and are no longer able to use it. In addition, the Bronco test also provides a “trainability” parameter for the player: time over 5’40 “To 6 minutes is an alarm bell that makes us understand that there are problems and that we must act,” explains Dela Cheek.


If rugby is a sport that relies on speed changes and high-intensity repetitive motion at an athletic level, then why is aerobic capacity so important? “Aerobic capacity allows the player to recover more quickly between one extreme event and another, thus allowing you to repeat the intense gestures multiple times, while improving performance. It is not a performance or performance test, but it allows you to understand what is the basis from which to best train a player. Bonus Moreover, due to its characteristics, the Bronco Test is itself an aerobic capacity training, which is why it is so convenient: by scoring the test using we can also do this with 30 athletes together, which cannot be done with other tests.”


According to the Bewden Barrett Registry, Broncos test times are in fact quite variable and depend on many factors, first and foremost the role: “Travel averages at 4’30, centers at 4’45”, plus the third lines, which are about 4’50 The first lines usually run 5′-5’10”. At Zebre we also had athletes who did 4’15”. It is not a good idea to do the Broncos test that tells us whether we are good players or not, but it is an important criterion for determining the rest of the training.”