Rugby teams asked to be part of new research into cause of injury

Researchers from the Department for Health are looking for community rugby teams to take part in a study to improve understanding about the risk of injury in the game.

The team is working in partnership with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and RFU Injured Players Foundation on the Community Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (CRISP) that aims to discover the cause of injury and which could result in changes in the way the game is played.

Dr Keith Stokes, Dr Grant Trewartha and Research Officer Dr Simon Roberts have been collecting data for three years and are now increasing the number of participating clubs to include over 100 throughout England.

Clubs taking part in the project are asked to submit a team list with details on the score and weather conditions for each first team match with more detailed information provided for any injury which results in a player missing one match or more.

In addition, all first team squad players will be asked to complete one short questionnaire with questions relating to diet and training habits.

Dr Stokes said: "Data on rugby injuries in professional rugby players in England has been systematically collected for a decade, but most players turn out for their team at the weekend as recreational and amateur athletes. Our aim is to understand the injury risk in these people to allow the development of approaches to managing this risk.

"The data that we have collected so far shows a lower risk of injury in community rugby when compared with the professional game, but we are working towards ways in which we can help to reduce these risks further."

Dr Stephen Green, the team doctor from Kendal RUFC, which has been involved in the study since 2009, said: "The project is clearly of help to the Community game overall and helps me benchmark our own injuries against those experienced by similar clubs and allows us to plan our training and rehabilitation accordingly. The data collection is relatively simple and does not interfere with pitchside care. I am pleased to be involved in this work."

Dr Simon Roberts is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project and is keen to hear from any club that is interested in getting involved in this research.  For further information, email contact Dr Roberts or call 01225 384531

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