Systematic review of rugby injuries in children and adolescents under 21 years

Br J Sports Med. 2015 Apr;49(8):511-9. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093684. Epub 2015 Jan 6.


A systematic review of rugby union and league injuries among players under the age of 21 years was carried out to calculate probabilities of match injury for a player over a season and a pooled estimate of match injury incidence where studies were sufficiently similar. The probability of a player being injured over a season ranged from 6% to 90% for rugby union and 68% to 96% for rugby league. The pooled injury incidence estimate for rugby union was 26.7/1000 player-hours for injuries irrespective of need for medical attention or time-loss and 10.3/1000 player-hours for injuries requiring at least 7 days absence from games; equivalent to a 28.4% and 12.1% risk of being injured over a season. Study heterogeneity contributed to a wide variation in injury incidence. Public injury surveillance and prevention systems have been successful in reducing injury rates in other countries. No such system exists in the UK.

Keywords: Adolescent; Child; Concussion; Rugby; Sporting injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Contusions / epidemiology
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / epidemiology
  • Extremities / injuries
  • Female
  • Football / injuries*
  • Hematoma / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Joint Dislocations / epidemiology
  • Lacerations / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Neck Injuries / epidemiology
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sprains and Strains / epidemiology
  • Torso / injuries
  • Young Adult