Too many Rugby World Cup injuries?

Are we surprised by the number of injuries at this years  Rugby world cup ? Evidence from a previous study in Australia suggests that this is not a deviation from the norm for rugby union. (A guest posting from Dr John Evans, Solva).

(Australian Rugby Union 2013 Research of Injury Risks in Rugby Union ).

Arts gezochtRugbycartoon

Could even more injuries bring about a lower standard of rugby in the final stages  than would be expected ? A Study into rugby injuries (see link) suggested that

improvements in coaching could reduce the risks of injury.



Key findings and implications: •” Injury incidence increases with age and level of play. ”

What injuries are most common and which positions suffer the greatest number of injuries ? 

information from a research paper in 2005 (via link) . However a more recent audit from the English top tier clubs suggests things have changed since 2005 

  • “Concussion was, for the third consecutive season, the most commonly reported Premiership match injury (10.5/1000 player-hours) constituting 12.5% of all match injuries. Improving concussion awareness amongst players, coaches, referees and medical staff and the standardisation of concussion management has been the major medical focus of the English professional game since 2012 and is likely to have contributed significantly to this continued rise in concussion reporting.” link to full audit report here.

Most professional sports people have one year renewable insurance policies, either as individuals or through their team/club. Unfortunately these policies are stopped after serious debilitating injury, and the ongoing cost is met by the state. Is this appropriate in a cash strapped health service ? The NZ Herald reports skyrocketing costs of sports injuries in NZ.

Estimated costs of sports injuries in the UK in 1994 were £0.75 Billion 

BBC News 1st October 2015: Why are there so many injuries at the Rugby World Cup?

The Mailonline reported 29th September: Rugby World Cup takes its toll as 24 players succumb to injury in under a fortnight




Previous NHSreality postings:

Professional Contact Sports – should the Health Services cover them fully?

Rugby and Dementia pugilistica…. an unfair cost on the health service

School rugby plan ‘too dangerous’

Professional Rugby: the price we all pay. Co-payments or insurance are needed..

Danger of boys’ rugby exposed. Should participants in sporting activities be insured or face co-payments?

Brain injuries from contact sports – should these be covered by the Health Service?


This entry was posted in A Personal View, Guest, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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