During the 1979 rugby union season, 221 club and representative matches were played at Ballymore in Brisbane. From these matches, 271 players presented with injury to the medical officer on duty. The rate of injury was 0.032 injuries per player-hour (that is, 1.23 injuries per game, or 0.041 injuries per player appearance). Facial lacerations accounted for one-third of all injuries and one-half of all injuries were to the head and neck. Both lower and upper limbs were sites for around 20% of injuries. Two thirds of injuries were of a minor nature. There were no deaths and no permanently incapacitating injuries. One player required emergency reduction of a dislocated hip, eight patients had semi-elective surgery and one had elective surgery. There was a significant trend of increasing grades of play. The site, nature and severity of injury is presented and related to the position and grade of the player. A system for classifying the severity of injury is suggested.