- Training programmes should be balanced and involve conditioning exercises, as well as cardio fitness, to improve strength, flexibility and endurance. This will help with the body’s ability to cope when running in all directions and for long periods and the general knocks and rebounds of the sport.
- Good technique should be taught and adhered to when playing, including tackling, rucking and scrumming. This will reduce the potential for injuries caused by bad technique.
- Know the rules of the formation of the scrum and stick to them. A wrong move in the scrum could easily cause an injury.
- Ensure good positioning during the game to reduce the chances of potentially dangerous and injury-prone moves.
- The use of a good quality and well-fitting mouth guard.
- Play in games and competitions that are consistent with a rugby player’s ability.
- Use of performance enhancing kinesiology tape, such as RockTape.
How to: Avoid rugby injury
Do you play rugby? Perhaps you are one of the growing numbers of touch rugby fans. Or maybe you simply like to watch the top players in events such as the forthcoming Rugby Sevens tournament at the Commonwealth Games, Glasgow 2014. Whatever your rugby aspirations, you will know about the excitement of the game – but also the potential for injury. Because rugby involves a lot of running, and in all directions, several “over-use” injuries that are common among rugby players are tendonitis in the knee or ankle; medial tibial stress syndrome (shin splints) and bursitis Rugby is a collision sport so there is also the chance of traumatic injuries, such as bone fractures, dislocations, sprains and ligament and tendon damage. (Obviously, this is far less of a problem among touch rugby players.) Rugby injury prevention In some cases there is little that rugby players can do to completely avoid injury. It’s one of the facts of the contact sport that accidents do happen. But the sports therapists do suggest some tips for reducing the chance of injury.