There is growing understanding of the nature of match injuries which occur in rugby union. However, the research conducted to date in the English game has focussed on injuries which have occurred at International and Premiership levels. While detailed information is available for Premiership rugby, it may not be appropriate to assume that these injury patterns reflect those in the Community game. Some of the different player and match characteristics which exist between Premiership and Community levels may influence injury type and frequency. However, it should also be considered that even within levels 3-9 there will be a range of playing abilities and possibly scope for differing injury patterns.
In order to provide information specific to the Community game, a programme of injury surveillance has been established which caters for this range of playing levels. The Community Rugby Injury Surveillance Project is run by a team at the University of Bath and funded by the RFU Injured Players Foundation on behalf of Community Rugby as part of a commitment by the RFU to reduce injuries within rugby. The Project involves the collection and analysis of information on injuries which occur during 1st XV matches in RFU playing levels 3-9.
The purpose of this research project is to firstly identify injury patterns within community rugby to understand more about such factors as the number of injuries occurring, the type of injuries, and how they happen. This information can help to inform possible intervention strategies for particularly common or severe injuries and to provide guidance on strategies for medical provision within clubs.