A prospective epidemiological study of injuries to New Zealand premier club rugby union players.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this study was to document and analyse injuries sustained in premier grade rugby union over a competitive season and investigate the seasonal trend of injury incidence.
A prospective epidemiological cohort study of injury.
Field-based collection of match-play injury data.
Two-hundred and seventy-one players from eight premier grade rugby union teams.
Injury incidence as a function of exposure and match round including descriptive statistical analysis of injury characteristics.
Injury incidence during the season was 52 injuries per 1000 player-match hours (95% CI: 42-65). Poisson regression demonstrated a significant decrease in injury rate by 2% for each successive round throughout the season (p<0.04). Most injuries were sustained during the tackle resulting in soft tissue injuries to the lower limb.
The results of this study demonstrate an early season bias of injuries. The majority of injuries were classified as 'slight' with players returning to training or play within two days. The tackle was the phase of play which produced the most injuries consistent with previous research. Compared to analogous data collected 10 years previously, injury incidence of a similar cohort was considerably reduced.
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ABSTRACT: Rugby Union football is a very popular sport in New Zealand but of all the major sports played in that country, it has the highest reported incidence of injury. In 1995, a national rugby injury prevention program was instigated to address this problem. Known as Tackling Rugby Injury, this multifaceted program was implemented over a five-year period. The program was based on the results of a prospective cohort study of rugby injury, known as the Rugby Injury and Performance Project (RIPP), and was organised around seven themes, five relating to the prevention of injury: coaching, fitness, injury management, tackling, and foul play, and two relating to the implementation and evaluation of the program. The purpose of this paper is to describe the lessons learned from the implementation of Tackling Rugby Injury. Qualitative research methods were used to describe the process of implementation, including informant interviews, participant observation, and the scrutiny of written, visual and archival material. Among the lessons learned were the importance of basing injury prevention strategies on scientific evidence rather than popular belief, the difficulty in implementing complex interventions, the advantages of a formal agreement between partners in the implementation of a program, the central role played by coaches in promoting injury prevention strategies, and the value of describing the process of implementation as well as monitoring injury outcomes and changes in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. It is hoped that other sports wishing to develop injury prevention programs can learn from this experience.Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport 04/2004; 7(1):74-84. · 2.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To undertake a detailed epidemiological study of head injuries sustained by professional rugby union players in order to define their incidence, nature, severity, and causes. A 3-season prospective cohort design. 13 English Premiership rugby union clubs. 757 male rugby union players. Anatomical location, diagnosis, severity (number of days unavailable for training and match play), injury incident, and incidence of match and training injuries (injuries/1000 player-hours). Playing position, use of headgear, and activity. The overall incidence of match head injury was 6.6 injuries/1000 player-hours, and each injury resulted, on average, in 14 days lost-time. The overall incidence of match concussions was 4.1 injuries/1000 player-hours resulting, on average, in 13 days lost-time. Concussion was the third most common match injury for all players. A large proportion of the players (48%) were able to return to play safely within 7 days. Match concussions were most commonly associated with tackling head-on (28%), collisions (20%), and being tackled head-on (19%). The midfield backs were the playing position at the greatest risk of sustaining a concussion. Only 42% of players were removed from the field of play immediately after a concussion. Foul play was reported by the player to be associated with match head injury in 17% of cases. Mouthguard and headgear usage was associated with a reduced incidence of concussive injury. The overall incidence of training head injury was 0.05 injuries/1000 player-hours, and the overall incidence of training concussions was 0.02 injuries/1000 player-hours. The results showed that rugby union players were exposed to a high risk of noncatastrophic head injury and concussion, particularly whilst tackling and being tackled head-on. In all, 48% of players sustaining a concussion were able to return to play in less than 7 days. The clinical challenge when assessing the potentially concussed player during a game is compounded by the current regulations regarding the permanent replacement of injured players. Injury prevention strategies should be focussed on minimizing the risk and force of direct contact to the head in the tackle.Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine 06/2008; 18(3):227-34. · 1.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In January 2007 the International Rugby Board implemented a new law for scrum engagement aimed at improving player welfare by reducing impact force and scrum collapses. In New Zealand the new law was included in RugbySmart, an annual compulsory workshop for coaches and referees. To determine the effect of the new law on scrum-related moderate to serious neck and back injury claims in 2007. Claims filed with the Accident Compensation Corporation (the provider of no-fault injury compensation and rehabilitation in New Zealand) were combined with numbers of registered players to estimate moderate to serious scrum-related claims for players who take part in scrums (forwards). Poisson linear regression was used to compare the observed claims per 100 000 forwards for 2007 with the rate predicted from data for 2002-6. The observed and predicted claims per 100 000 forwards were 52 and 76, respectively (rate ratio 0.69; 90% CI 0.42 to 1.12). The likelihoods of substantial benefit (rate ratio <0.90) and harm (rate ratio >1.1) attributable to the scrum law were 82% and 5%, respectively. The decline in scrum-related injury claims is consistent with a beneficial effect of the new scrum law in the first year of its implementation. Another year of monitoring should provide more evidence for the efficacy of the new law.British journal of sports medicine 06/2008; 42(6):427-30. · 3.67 Impact Factor