Match Injuries in Professional Welsh Rugby
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Objectives: To determine the incidence, severity and nature of match injuries in professional Welsh rugby and to compare results to studies of elite professional rugby in other countries. Methods: A single-season prospective study was performed to investigate match injuries in 120 elite players from 3 of the 4 Welsh Regional rugby squads. The study design complied with international guidelines for epidemiological studies of rugby injuries. Club medical teams recorded all injuries occurring during competitive matches that led to a loss of training or playing time. The injury severity, type, site, event, player position, time in match and time in season were reported. Player match exposure was obtained from club, Welsh Premiership and international squad records. Results: Overall match injury incidence was 82.5 match injuries/1000 player hours, with a mean of 28 days lost to training and/or match play per injury. Recurrent injuries comprised 19.1% of injuries. The shoulder was the most frequently injured body part (16.3%), for both new and recurrent injuries, and had a higher than average severity (38 days). 78% of injuries were associated with contact and 45.5% of injuries occurred in the tackle. The greatest injury incidence was in the final quarter of the match (99.8/1000 player hours) and replacement players (110.0/1000 player hours) had a higher injury rate than starting players (79.6/1000 player hours). Conclusions: The injury incidence in elite Welsh rugby is comparable to that of domestic and international elite rugby in other countries, however the incidence of acute and recurrent shoulder injuries appears to be greater in Wales.
- Masters Degrees (Sport) 
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