Injury incidence, characteristics and timing in amateur male rugby union: A prospective cohort study

Alex Falkenmire, Joshua Manvell, Robin Callister, Suzanne Snodgrass

Abstract

Rugby union has a high incidence of match injuries. However, there is limited information regarding the incidence and characteristics of match injuries in male amateur players. In particular, there is a lack of information regarding injury rates per match quarter. Investigating this may inform injury prevention strategies. The aim is to determine whether the rate and characteristics of injury vary with match quarter in male amateur rugby union players, regardless of whether the injury resulted in time loss from play. This prospective cohort study recorded and examined the number and characteristics of injuries during match quarters across a season of amateur rugby union. Team match exposure was recorded. Injuries were recorded by a team physiotherapist consistent with Rugby Injury Consensus Group guidelines. Matches were divided into quarters for data analysis, and statistical significance was determined using Chi-square analysis. 127 players sustained 207 injuries across 18 games. The injury incidence was 164 injuries/1000 match hours. There was a significant (p < .001) difference in the number of injuries between match quarters, with the greatest number in the fourth, followed by the second, third, and first quarter. Forwards had a statistically significant higher rate of injury between quarters. Injury incidence in amateur rugby is higher than previously reported. Injury rates in amateur male rugby increase at the end of each match half, peaking in the fourth quarter. These findings contribute to the understanding of the aetiology of injury in amateur rugby union.


Keywords

Rugby union; Injury; Match timing

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2020.153.08





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