n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - BokSmart : safe and effective techniques in rugby union : commentary

Volume 20, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



As with any contact sport, rugby union has a high risk of injury. The majority of injuries result from contact phases of play such as the tackle, taking the ball into contact, the scrum, the lineout and the ruck and maul. Many techniques associated with a reduced risk of injury can be taught. The need for coaches to emphasise correct technique is extremely important and one of the few possible modes to reduce injuries, particularly non-fatal catastrophic injuries to the head, neck, brain and spine. This paper provides evidence of safe techniques during the contact phases of the game (tackling, taking the ball into contact, scrum setting and engagement, lineouts as well as rucks and mauls). Examples are also given to show that safe techniques often are the most effective techniques from a performance perspective.

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