Croatian rugby project. Part II: injuries

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2001 Sep;41(3):392-8.


Background: Studies of rugby injuries in countries where rugby is not popular are rare. The aim of the study was to analyze the epidemiology and other characteristics of injuries in the first Croatian-Slovenian rugby league (CSRL) and the influence of anthropometric characteristics, body composition and constitution on the epidemiology of injuries.

Methods: Eleven anthropometric measures for the assessment of anthropometric characteristics, body composition and constitution were obtained in a sample of 111 voluntarily participating rugby players from the CSRL in the middle of the season 1996/97. After the season a questionnaire about injuries sustained in the past season was retrospectively filled up by 106 players who finished the first part of the study. Injuries were classified according to Garraway and Macleod and the 9th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

Results: The incidence of injuries was 1.24 per 1000 hours of rugby training and 28.22 per 1000 hours of playing in matches. Low club position in rugby division (statistically significant, p<0.05), age from 25 to 34 years, forwards position in a team, being tackled, and beginning of autumn or spring season were identified as risk factors for injuries. The most frequent sites of injury were legs. The most frequent injuries were dislocations, strains and sprains of ankle and foot.

Conclusions: The incidence of injuries in matches was more than two times higher than in more developed Scottish rugby, statistically positively correlating with the team position in division. There are no statistically significant differences in anthropometric characteristics, body composition and constitution of injured and uninjured players.

MeSH terms

  • Anthropometry
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Croatia / epidemiology
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Surveys and Questionnaires