Injury Statistics in Rugby

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by Harry Brownlow, September 2017

This makes for sobering reading. As rugby changes to a more southern hemisphere style of play I wonder whether the statistics will actually worsen. Bigger players moving faster and tackling harder is a recipe for worse injuries. Within the shoulder world it certainly feels like we are seeing more  dislocations and fractures than ever. But it is an exciting game to watch and play so I can’t imagine it will ever change into a non contact version. Tag rugby is a very different game and to most players and spectators it is less alluring. It lacks the gladiatorial aspect.  The application of body armour and head gear does not seem to completely mitigate the risk of injury as witnessed by the American Football experience. Indeed it may encourage players to be more reckless with their heads and bodies in the mistaken belief that they are protected from harm. But of course we need to protect our children who are poor risk takers. I don’t know the solution but in the meantime I will continue to put their shoulders back together again.

Allyson Pollock and Graham Kirkwood: Tackle and scrum should be banned in school rugby