Evaluation of RugbySmart: a rugby union community injury prevention programme

J Sci Med Sport. 2009 May;12(3):371-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2008.01.002. Epub 2008 Mar 19.


RugbySmart, a rugby union injury prevention programme, was launched in New Zealand in 2001. It was compulsory for all coaches and referees to complete RugbySmart requirements annually in order to continue coaching or refereeing. After 5 years of implementation the programme partners, Accident Compensation Corporation and New Zealand Rugby Union, evaluated RugbySmart to determine its effectiveness in reducing injuries. The purpose was to evaluate the effect of RugbySmart on reducing injury rates per 100,000 players and resulting injury prevention behaviours. The RugbySmart programme was associated with a decrease in injury claims per 100,000 players in most areas the programme targeted; the programme had negligible impact on non-targeted injury sites. The decrease in injury claims numbers was supported by results from the player behaviour surveys pre- and post-RugbySmart. There was an increase in safe behaviour in the contact situations of tackle, scrum and ruck technique.

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / economics
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Football / injuries*
  • Humans
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Program Evaluation*
  • Prospective Studies