Publication: Injury Surveillance in School Rugby: A systematic review of Injury Epidemiology & Surveillance Practices

Research Impact: School Rugby, has increased in popularity and professionalism in recent times and evaluating injury risk in school players is paramount to player welfare and safety. The true injury risk in school Rugby remains unclear. A systematic review of the scientific and medical literature on injury epidemiology in school Rugby was undertaken. Reported injury incidence rates ranged from 28.3 to 35/1000hr for 24hr time loss injuries and from 23.7 to 31.8/1000h for medical attention definitions (excluding elite school Rugby). Injury incidence increased fivefold when an all-inclusive injury definition was used. The lower limb was the most common region injured whilst the most common injury type was ligament and joint sprains. This paper serves to improve the current understanding of injury epidemiology and surveillance practices in school Rugby and provides the first known systematic review on the subject. Inconsistencies in injury definitions and injury recording practices make conclusions challenging. Overall, injury incidence rates in school Rugby are lower than previously reported in the academy, amateur and professional game for time loss injuries. Similar to the amateur and professional game, the tackle was also associated with the highest injury risk for school players. Injury risk appeared to increase with age and skill level, however the influence of body mass was not explored.

Leahy T.M., Kenny I.C., Campbell M.J., Warrington G.D., Cahalan R., Harrison A.J., Lyons M., Glynn L.G., and Comyns T.M. (2019). Injury Surveillance in Schools Rugby: An overview of Injury Epidemiology & Surveillance Practices. Physical Therapy in Sport. 38, 170-78. IF 2.00, Q2, 38/81. DOI:10.1016/j.ptsp.2019.05.005.

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