n International SportMed Journal - The epidemiology of injuries in professional rugby union




Only 3 studies have recorded injuries in professional rugby-union players to date. Comparison of data in these studies has been complicated because of lack of uniformity in study design. The mean incidence of all recorded injuries in professional rugby union is 86.4 injuries per 1000 player game hours, ranging between 67.8 and 150 injuries per 1000 player game hours. The lower limb was the most often affected site. Musculotendinous strains, contusions, and ligament sprains were the most common types of injury. A low incidence of chronic overuse injuries was recorded, possibly because of definitions of injury more suited to acute injuries. A higher incidence of reinjury was found in professional rugby players than in amateur players. The tackle caused the highest incidence of injury in all levels of rugby, and the scrum and lineout, the lowest. A standardized format of recording of injuries in rugby union is recommended. Further research is necessary to obtain more representative data of injuries in professional rugby union.


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