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Super Rugby high tackle (Gallo Images)
Cape Town – With rugby set to continue to experience exponential participation and fan growth as a new decade begins, World Rugby’s evidence-based drive to reduce the risk of injury in the sport continues to make a positive impact.
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According to theWorld Rugby website, player welfare is the sport’s top priority and injury incidence in global elite rugby has reduced in recent years thanks to the sport’s forward-thinking and research-driven approach to injury prevention and injury management.
With the rugby community focused on reducing the risk of concussion, injury rates across global elite competitions have reduced by 15 percent (30 percent at Rugby World Cup 2019), demonstrating a change in culture, behaviour and strong compliance with World Rugby’s player welfare standards.
Key to injury prevention is the process of law review, and last year the World Rugby Executive Committee approved a package of innovative law trials specifically designed to reduce injuries at all levels.
The major focus of the law amendment process was the imperative to reduce injury risk in the tackle, which is responsible for 50 percent of all match injuries and 76 percent of all concussions (72 percent occurring to the tackler). This is in part driven by an increase of ball in play time by 50 percent since Rugby World Cup 1987 to approximately 35 minutes at Rugby World Cup 2019. This environment has given rise to a 252 percent increase in tackles over the same period, which is why World Rugby is focused on this important area.
With unions, regions and competition owners embracing the opportunity to participate, the process of im
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