Influence of Playing Position on the Site, Nature, and Cause of Rugby League Injuries

J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Nov;19(4):749-55. doi: 10.1519/R-16504.1.

Abstract

This study investigated the influence of playing position on the site, nature, and cause of injuries in rugby league. The incidence, site, nature, and cause of playing injuries was prospectively studied in 156 rugby league players over 2 seasons. An injury was defined as any pain or disability suffered by a player during a match that resulted in the player missing a subsequent match. The hooker (101 per 1,000 playing hours) and prop (92 per 1,000 playing hours) positions had the highest incidence of injury. Injuries sustained by the fullback (32 per 1,000 playing hours) and halfback (44 per 1,000 playing hours) positions were less common. Compared with other individual playing positions, props had a significantly higher incidence of overexertion injuries (22 per 1,000 playing hours), thigh and calf injuries (47 per 1,000 playing hours), and hematomas (19 per 1,000 playing hours), whereas the five-eighth position (31 per 1,000 playing hours) and the hookers and halves positional group (17 per 1,000 playing hours) had a significantly higher incidence of falling and stumbling injuries. These results demonstrate that the hooker and prop positions have higher injury rates than other rugby league positions. Furthermore, the site, type, and cause of injuries are different among individual playing positions and playing groups. These findings suggest that individual position training for injury prevention is warranted in rugby league.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Trauma Severity Indices