IRB Passport site:

We use cookies to help make this website better. To find out more about the cookies we use, please read our Cookies Policy. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, you consent to this use, but if you want, you can find information in our Cookies Policy about how to remove cookies by changing your settings.

Educational modules
Education and medical
Player Welfare Education
IRB Immediate Pitch Side Care Educational Modules (including First Aid In Rugby and Immediate Care in Rugby)
IRB Concussion Management Educational Modules
IRB Match Day Medical Staff Educational Module
IRB Rugby Ready
IRB Medical Guidelines & Documents
Concussion Management
Research & expert papers
Injury Surveillance - IRB Tournaments
Injury Surveillance - Professional Rugby
Injury Surveillance - Community Rugby
Expert papers
Game analysis / research general
Weight guideline considerations
IRB Conference Information
IRB Rugby Science Network
IRB Rugby Science Network
Artificial Surfaces
Natural Surfaces
Padded Clothing Regulation
Anti-doping regulation
IRB Regulation 21: Anti-Doping
Testing programme
Anti-doping testing programme
Anti-doping education
IRB Keep Rugby Clean
Download a printable version of this document in Adobe PDF format
2011 RWC - Injury Surveillance Study
Colin W Fuller1, Kelly Sheerin2, Steve Targett3

Overview of paper


To determine the frequency and nature of injuries sustained during the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup.


A prospective, whole population survey.


615 international rugby players representing 20 teams competing at the IRB 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.


The study was implemented according to the international consensus statement for epidemiological studies in rugby union; the main measures included the players' age (years), stature (cm) and body mass (Kg) and the incidence (number of injuries/1000 player-hours), mean and median severity (days absence), location (%), type (%) and cause (%) of match and training injuries.


The incidences of injuries were 89.1/1000 player-match-hours (forwards: 85.0; backs: 93.8) and 2.2/1000 player-training-hours (forwards: 2.7; backs: 1.7). The mean severity of injuries was 23.6 days (forwards: 21.2; backs: 26.2) during matches and 26.9 (forwards: 33.4; backs: 14.3) during training. During matches, lower-limb muscle/tendon (31.6%) and ligament (15.8%) and, during training, lower-limb muscle/tendon (51.4%) and trunk muscle/tendon (11.4%) injuries were the most common injuries. The most common cause of injury during matches was the tackle (forwards: 43.6%, backs: 45.2%), and during training was full and semicontact skills activities.


The results confirm that rugby, like other full-contact sports, has a high incidence of injury: the results from IRB Rugby World Cup (RWC) 2011 were similar to those reported for RWC 2007.

To read the text of this paper in full, visit:

British Journal of Sports Medicine

1 International Rugby Board, Dublin, Ireland

2 Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

3 Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Download a printable version of this document in Adobe PDF format
Copyright © International Rugby Board 2010-2014 | Terms & Conditions of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookies Policy