Temporal patterns of injury during a rugby season

J Sci Med Sport. 2000 Jun;3(2):97-109. doi: 10.1016/s1440-2440(00)80072-9.


The aim of this study was to describe temporal patterns in the frequency, nature and circumstances of injuries occurring among a cohort of 356 rugby players during a club rugby season in New Zealand. It was found that the rate of injury in games decreased significantly over time in both males and females. The reduction in injury rate over the season was more pronounced in some grades, but no differences were found when examined by gender. playing position, age, ethnicity or by health and fitness types. Trends in injury rate were consistent over the rugby season and did not appear to be the result of a bias involving under-reporting of end-of-season injuries. The types and severity of injury remained relatively constant, but the proportion of injuries occurring in back play fell significantly over the season and injuries were more likely to occur in the trunk body region as the season progressed. This study supported the hypothesis that higher rates of injury occur at the start of the rugby season and decrease over the course of the season. This reduction is consistent over time and across player types, and is not attributable either to decreasing injury severity or to increasing player fitness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Male
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors