Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Leahy T.M.;Kenny I.C.;Campbell M.J.;Warrington G.D.;Purtill H.;Cahalan R.;Comyns T.M.;Harrison A.J.;Lyons M.;Glynn L.G.;O┐Sullivan K.
Sports Health-A Multidisciplinary Approach
Injury Trends for School Rugby Union in Ireland: The Need for Position-specific Injury-prevention Programs
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injury prevention injury surveillance rugby positions schoolboy rugby
Background: Concern has been raised over the injury risk to school Rugby union (Rugby) players and the potential long-term health consequences. Despite the increase in studies for this cohort, the influence of playing position on injury incidence and presentation is unclear. Purpose: To describe the incidence, nature and severity of match injuries for school Rugby in Ireland overall, and as a function of playing position. Study Design: Prospective cohort study. Methods: Data were collected from 15 male (aged 16-19 years) school Senior Cup teams across 2 seasons. In total, 339 players participated in season 1, whereas 326 players participated in season 2. Injury data were recorded onto a bespoke online platform. Match exposure was also recorded. Results: The incidence rate of match injuries (24-hour time loss) was 53.6 per 1000 hours. Across both seasons, 6810 days were lost from play due to injury. Forwards (65.4 per 1000 hours) sustained significantly more (P < 0.05) injuries than backs (40.5 per 1000 hours). The head, shoulder, knee, and ankle were the most common injured body regions; however, forwards sustained significantly more (P < 0.05) head and shoulder injuries than backs. The tackle was responsible for the majority of injuries in both groups. The highest proportion of injuries occurred during the third quarter. Conclusion: Clear differences in injury presentation and incidence were evident when comparing forwards versus backs. The high rate of head and shoulder injuries in the forwards suggest the need for more targeted injury-prevention strategies and further research on education and laws around the tackle event. The spike of injuries in the third quarter suggests that fatigue or inadequate half-time warm-up may be a contributing factor warranting further exploration. Clinical Relevance: This study demonstrates clear differences in injury presentation according to playing position in school Rugby and highlights the need for a more tailored approach to the design and implementation of injury-prevention strategies. Level of Evidence: Level 3
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