A fast-paced game, rugby involves much physical contact, and any regular player will more than likely face an injury or two.
Lower and upper limb muscle injuries and strains are common, along with hand and finger injuries. If a scrum collapses, serious injuries can occur to the neck and back.
Rugby differs from other sports in the number of upper-body collisions that occur during a game. Players at running pace are often tackled and charged into with considerable force. The impact can cause immediate injury, with the cumulative effect of several tackles taking their toll or examples of a rugby drill look at websites such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/.
Due to the high level of contact during a game, some protective kit should be worn:
- Studded Rugby Boots
- Head Guard
- Shin Pads
- Shoulder Pads
- Forearm Guard
- Stick Mits
While headgear is compulsory for all junior players, it is not mandatory for senior players. This is not the case for all countries, such as Japan, where all players have to wear headgear.
Headgear is designed to protect players from bruises and cuts to the scalp. There are claims they can also reduce concussion risk.
Make sure you know what to do in the event of a sports injury. 25% of rugby injuries are head injuries. Finger and hand fractures regularly occur, and shoulder dislocation is a common injury. The majority of injuries occur in the final third of a game, meaning fatigue has a large part to play. As muscles tire, the force produced drops, and the muscles encounter difficulties trying to protect themselves, bones and surrounding ligaments. Ensure a thorough warm-up is conducted before the second game starts, which will help to reduce the large rate of later game injuries.
The knee is where the most extreme injuries occur. Specific leg training can reduce the injury risk. Ensure you build up strength by doing leg exercises that will prevent injuries occurring later in the game. These include:
- Drop jumps
- Increased running strength
- One-leg hops or squats
- High bench tops or bench step-ups
- Explosive strength training and sprints, such as lateral hops, diagonal runs and cuts and high knee explosions which strengthen the knees and legs.
- Bicycle leg swings to reduce the likelihood of hamstring issues.