n South African Journal of Sports Medicine - Tackle-injury epidemiology in koshuis rugby players at Stellenbosch University : original research

Volume 27, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1015-5163
  • E-ISSN: 2078-516X



The tackle is an important component of rugby union. The tackle situation carries the highest risk for injury for both the ball carrier and tackler. Little is known about the epidemiology of tackle injuries in koshuis rugby players.

To (i) calculate the tackle-related injury rate, (ii) determine if the tackler or ball carrier is more susceptible to injury, and (iii) determine the most common location and type of injury during tackles.
Data were collected by means of injury report forms from the medical centre during koshuis matches of 2012 and 2013. All data collected were captured into an online database. Only data related to tackle injuries were evaluated for this retrospective, descriptive epidemiological study.
The tackle led to 61% of all injuries (11.4 injuries/1 000 playing hours). The tackler sustained 23% more injuries than the ball carrier.Injuries to the face (3.1 injuries/1 000 playing hours, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.8 - 3.3) were most prevalent. The most common type of injury was lacerations (3.4 injuries/1 000 playing hours, 95% CI 3.2 - 3.7).
The tackle contributed to 61% of all injuries, making it the most dangerous phase of play. The tackler is more at risk than the ball carrier, especially for injuries to the face, with lacerations having the highest prevalence. For the ball carrier the location of the most injuries was the head, although joint sprains were the most common type of injury for the ball carrier.

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