More than a fifth of elite players in England suffered at least one concussion during the 2018-19 season, according to the most up-to-date injury data from Rugby Football Union.
The 2018-19 Occupational Injury Surveillance Project report, which was initially to be released last January but just released by the RFU, also found that, for the eighth consecutive season, concussion was the most commonly reported injury in games and , on average, led to a layoff. longer than three weeks.
The delay in releasing the report has been largely due to the pandemic and comes after the law firm representing nine players diagnosed with long-term brain injuries sent pre-action letters of claim to World Rugby, the RFU and the Welsh Rugby Union last week. , alleging negligence.
The report provides crucial data for injury trend analysis and shows that concussion accounted for 20% of all match injuries in men’s play with 21% of players sustaining at least one during the season. , 5% more than the previous campaign. In the women’s game report for the same season, concussion accounted for 19% of match injuries.
The data also shows that in the men’s game the burden of a concussion in a match, a measure that combines the frequency and severity of injuries, is the highest since 2002. The most common injury in training sessions of ” full contact “was again found to be a concussion. That will cause great concern among those who have recently called for an end to such training practices.
In total, there were 168 concussions suffered in games and 38 occurred in training. The incidence of concussion in games was 20.4 per 1,000 hours, which is the second highest recorded behind 20.9 in the 2016-17 season. In terms of severity, the report found that 12 players who suffered a concussion did not return within 84 days.
The report, compiled in conjunction with Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players Association, also found that the incidence of all match injuries increased significantly on average between 2002-18: 103 per 1,000 hours compared to 86. That translates to that each club has about two injuries per game and 69 throughout the season. On average, each match injury lasted 34 days and the match injury burden was 3,479 days of absence per 1,000 hours.
More than half (52%) of all match injuries were associated with tackles. Tackles accounted for 27% of injuries and tackles 25%. The most common tackle injury was concussion, accounting for 16% of all ball carrier injuries and 36% of the tackler.
Of the total injuries, 39% were suffered during training sessions and with an incidence of 2.9 per 1000 hours, which represents about 44 injuries per club per season. The severity of training injuries in 2018-19 was 32 days of injury absence.
The report also paints a disturbing picture of injuries sustained during England’s training. The incidence for the 2018-19 season was 9.9 per 1000 hours, higher than the mean of the surveillance period (6.5 per 1000 hours). The burden of training injuries was substantially higher than average. However, when it came to injuries in Eddie Jones’ team games, the incidence dropped from the average of 125 per 1000 hours to 89.
This is only the second year that a report on women’s football has been produced and the first year that all 10 teams in the Premier 15 provided data. The overall incidence of game injuries was 35 per 1000 hours (13 injuries per team or 1.4 injuries per game). The average time lost due to injury per game was 57 days.
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