Staying Safe in Rugby

Rugby is a high contact and physically demanding sport, so it’s important to keep yourself safe and protected while playing. This is a great sport for many people, giving a great level of various types of exercise to maintain muscle strength, keep weight in check and stay healthy. Unfortunately, injuries can happen, and here is some information about the most common injuries and the best ways to avoid them:

Common injuries include:

For men playing rugby, the most common type of injury is those caused to the lower limbs, which account for nearly half of all reported rugby injuries. Between 15 & 29% of injuries occur in the upper limbs.

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The next affected area tends to be the face and head. Rugby is played by women’s teams and at school tends to have higher head injury cases, including concussions than any other level in the game.

A sizeable proportion of injuries, over half, occur during handling rugby matches. Thankfully, bad injuries and damage to the spin are a rare occurrence in rugby union.

How to avoid injuries

Some of the best preventative action includes:

Proper physical preparation includes heating, conditioning, stretching and cooling.

Appropriate training with the development of skills and techniques.

Adequate safety and protection equipment

Correct enforcement of the rules of the game

The presence of trainers, referees and strong administrators on public health and safety matters

Here are some useful tips for all rugby players, whatever the level:

All players must be involved in a lot of pre-season physical preparation and participate in properly designed training as by a registered coach or professional fitness trainer.

All players should benefit from the guidance of their coaches to develop both personal and team skills before playing in a competitive environment.

The higher the level of physical preparation, the smaller the risk of possible injury.

Children of school age, those over the age of 35 and all who are new to sports must receive a pre-participation medical examination by a sports medical professional. Advice provided by sports doctors during the season, such as refraining from playing, must be followed.

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Before playing, all players should spend between 15-30 minutes warming up that consists of aerobic training, stretching, and a section on skills training. For new Rugby Drills, visit https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/Passing/practiceIndex.jsp

During the match:

Handling training must be introduced to the players at a slow pace and build up. These should form the basis and main focus of the majority of skill training sessions.

Mouth Guards should always be worn during both training and match times where there is a potential impact on the jaw and teeth. If the mouth protector becomes damaged, it must be replaced straightaway. If it’s not broken, you should replace it at least every two years, more often for growing children.

Players must understand that injuries can still occur even with protective equipment. Any injured player must not return to the game until they have received a medical assessment and rehabilitated back to mobility, fitness, and strength.