Time motion analysis is extensively used to assess the demands of team sports. At present there is only limited information on the reliability of measurements using this analysis tool. The aim of this study was to establish the reliability of an individual observer's time motion analysis of rugby union. Ten elite level rugby players were individually tracked in Southern Hemisphere Super 12 matches using a digital video camera. The video footage was subsequently analysed by a single researcher on two occasions one month apart. The test-retest reliability was quantified as the typical error of measurement (TEM) and rated as either good (<5% TEM), moderate (5-10% TEM) or poor (>10% TEM). The total time spent in the individual movements of walking, jogging, striding, sprinting, static exertion and being stationary had moderate to poor reliability (5.8-11.1% TEM). The frequency of individual movements had good to poor reliability (4.3-13.6% TEM), while the mean duration of individual movements had moderate reliability (7.1-9.3% TEM). For the individual observer in the present investigation, time motion analysis was shown to be moderately reliable as an evaluation tool for examining the movement patterns of players in competitive rugby. These reliability values should be considered when assessing the movement patterns of rugby players within competition.