Collecting data about injuries suffered by players across rugby underpins World Rugby's attempts to ensure the game is as safe as possible, and consequently injury surveillance research is a long-standing and important part of all World Rugby competitions.
World Rugby have recently looked to expand injury surveillance beyond its own competitions and into other elite and community-level rugby settings around the world. This approach will help by providing a more detailed picture of injury risk across the game. As well as expanding the scope for injury research across rugby, it is important that data from different settings are collected as consistently as possible. To help with developing consistency across studies, World Rugby assisted with creating Consensus Statements that closely align procedures and protocols with collecting data. You can find links below to these Consensus Statements that should be consulted when planning injury surveillance research in settings where qualified medical support may or may not be regularly available to treat injured players.
To support this effort, World Rugby have developed an Injury Surveillance App that is available to Unions, Regional Associations and Competitions at both International level and at the top level of the domestic game within Unions. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. The app is available free of charge to Unions.
Wide variations in the definitions and methodologies used for studies of injuries in rugby union have created inconsistencies in reported data and made interstudy comparisons of results difficult. The International Rugby Board established a Rugby Injury Consensus Group (RICG) to reach an agreement on the appropriate definitions and methodologies to standardise the recording of injuries and reporting of studies in rugby union. The RICG reviewed the consensus definitions and methodologies previously published for football (soccer) at a meeting in Dublin in order to assess their suitability for and application to rugby union. Following this meeting, iterative draft statements were prepared and circulated to members of the RICG for comment; a follow-up meeting was arranged in Dublin, at which time all definitions and procedures were finalised. At this stage, all authors confirmed their agreement with the consensus statement. The agreed document was presented to and approved by the International Rugby Board Council. Agreement was reached on definitions for injury, recurrent injury, non-fatal catastrophic injury, and training and match exposures, together with criteria for classifying injuries in terms of severity, location, type, diagnosis and causation. The definitions and methodology presented in this consensus statement for rugby union are similar to those proposed for football. Adoption of the proposals presented in this consensus statement should ensure that more consistent and comparable results will be obtained from studies of injuries within rugby union.
You can find links to the injury surveillance reports from World Rugby Competitions below: