Injury spike



  • It seems that the number of multi-week/season ending injuries has jumped dramatically in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

    Wondering if the last crop of rule changes may have had a significant impact -- could they be doing more harm than good?

    AB pack for France is going to be a long way (four players?) from the best.

    To me the current injury toll is beyond the level which can be dismissed with the 'it ain't tiddlywinks' argument. At this rate Super squads of sixty will be required to get through a season?!

    Harm not to feel another rule review is called for.



  • What makes you think it’s the Laws responsible? Isn’t it more likely the amount of rugby being played?

    I’d prefer a shorter season for both Super Rugby and Internationals. Not only would it improve quality by not grinding the players into dust, but the boredom factor would be improved.

    Derby’s would be a big deal again instead oh, the Hurricanes again.



  • I forgot who said it, I think it was one of the SR coaches (not sure), but he thought the increase in the number of injuries was due to both the increase in speed and players becoming bigger, resulting in more damaging collisions.



  • It is the type of injury that has changed. More broken bones/fractures than before.



  • Too much soy and gym training; not enough beef and farm work.



  • I wonder if it is a combination of factors. Some of which have changed recently some not so much

    • lots of travel
    • players increasing in size/strength
    • increased number of games per season
    • shorter off season
    • younger players being exposed to "full time" rugby earlier
    • young players being exposed to regular top professional rugby earlier (because the older guys are going overseas)
    • tighter concussion rules

    Not sure rule changes would have accounted for many of the injuries.



  • All good points, but injuries this year to me seem much more prevalent than last year. It could be random, although odd that it's worldwide. If not the question to be answered is, 'What's changed?'.

    I don't think its contestable that the top players by the end of the year are now more 'beat up'. Witness the ABs, who had very little gas left. And that could well feed into starting the following season carrying niggles, or worse.

    One thought is that players have adapted to certain rule changes with different techniques and even more physicality. For example, there seem to be quite a few more clean-outs which are dangerous.

    NH example, Toby Faletau getting cleaned out (he claimed illegally) in Toulon Bath match. Leg caught and twisted and out for two months.

    No stats but to me something has changed.



  • A possible correlation between rule changes and injuries is during both training and playing when body positions are changing away from the 'norm' and players aren't operating as much on instinct (and therefore natural movements).
    For some, they have spent years tackling a certain way at certain heights and are being asked to change their dynamics slightly meaning the new movements don't come as easy. Maybe sometimes they are adjusting late from 'old' to 'new' and getting caught in between?
    I don't think it is unreasonable at all to assign some injuries to the changes made but it certainly wouldn't be the main (or only) reason.



  • With less what American Football coined 'tackling the numbers' - primarily soft tissue upper abdomen and chest - and now more shoulder to less padded areas of the body maybe that's the reason for increased injuries, specifically breakages??





  • One way to counter the size of the players, which has definitely increased, is to speed up the game.

    Go back to a smaller halftime break, speed up the scrum engagements, free kick time wasting, reduce the number of subs.

    Make fitness more of a virtue than size.

    Be hard to keep muscle on in that sort of game and less size will reduce the collision impact and may reduce some of the injuries.



  • I heard something a little while ago that seemed to make sense to me. It was to do with the increasing size of players. For sure guys have got naturally bigger, taller over the last 20-30 years but it is the packing on of so much extra muscle weight. The upshot is that while you can train most things to increase your size, your joints cannot be trained. This results in so much more stress put on joints which over time causes heaps of problems.



  • What would be interesting is a comparison with League, Soccer and AFL. Also a year on year injury rate and type of injury. Its also interesting some players seem prone to injury whilst others seem to play game after game. Crockett springs to mind, maybe all the bench warming contributed to his longevity, not sure.



  • I remember the first professional rugby of any type I saw was when the NRL began being televised in NZ in 1989.

    Back then their entire teams could almost make it through the entire season. 13 players plus 4 subs (no interchange). You got to watch the same guys play week-in week out and learnt the teams & players quite quickly.

    Although it may have been that some of them were making it to the end of the season on cortisone. I remember the Raiders seemed to need to manage Ricky Stuart and Bradley Clyde to get them through.

    I think it is worth a study, I think profession ruggby (both codes) should be aiming for a sport where at a pro level a small squad can make it through a season.

    Big changes I can think of are the interchange, and the 5m rule changing to 10m.

    But also the physiques/strength/conditioning has changed. I may just have rose-tinted glasses ( i lost interest in league when they went to interchange and 10m rule).

    At a guess, I'd estimate NSWRL was about 10 years (or just less) from transtioning from semi-pro top fully pro in 1989? That sweet, sweet pokie monies.



  • One thing those reports fail to address is whether the concussion is incurred by the tackled player or the tackler. A lot of the current concern is traced back to George North getting concussed twice in a game in 2015: once from being kicked in the head while diving on the ball and then as the tackler (head or shoulder clash?). My casual observation is that a significant proportion of head-injuries are incurred by the tackler either through poor technique or bad luck, but also because the player being tackled is (with some notable exceptions) not censured for leading with a hip, elbow, knee or shoulder. All the protection goes to the player with ball and none to the tackler. Combine this with increasing pressure to tackle aggressively and try to force the opposition backwards leading to greater impact between players. Talk of lowering the tackle-zone even further might only make things worse.

    Doesn't explain other injuries - knees, soft-tissue etc - escalating though.



  • @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?



  • @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    Open up the game, more tries - worked on Wednesday for the Storm. 😳



  • @nepia said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    Open up the game, more tries - worked on Wednesday for the Storm. 😳

    Errmmmm...aren't we talking about reducing injuries?



  • @bones said in Injury spike:

    @nepia said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    Open up the game, more tries - worked on Wednesday for the Storm. 😳

    Errmmmm...aren't we talking about reducing injuries?

    Hmmm, I just thought you were asking why the NRL changed the 5m to 10m.



  • @nepia said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @nepia said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    Open up the game, more tries - worked on Wednesday for the Storm. 😳

    Errmmmm...aren't we talking about reducing injuries?

    Hmmm, I just thought you were asking why the NRL changed the 5m to 10m.

    And you thought I was too thick to understand that part. I guess I earned that.



  • @bones said in Injury spike:

    @nepia said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @nepia said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    Open up the game, more tries - worked on Wednesday for the Storm. 😳

    Errmmmm...aren't we talking about reducing injuries?

    Hmmm, I just thought you were asking why the NRL changed the 5m to 10m.

    And you thought I was too thick to understand that part. I guess I earned that.

    Hahahaha, maybe I'm the thick one for taking you at face value ....



  • @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    The game was very defense oriented/dominated, so to increase the amount of space.



  • Ah, crap.

    Now I've read the posts above.



  • @rapido said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    The game was very defense oriented/dominated, so to increase the amount of space.

    So to increase the amount of space and allow higher speed collisions? 🙂



  • @jezza said in Injury spike:

    One thing those reports fail to address is whether the concussion is incurred by the tackled player or the tackler. A lot of the current concern is traced back to George North getting concussed twice in a game in 2015: once from being kicked in the head while diving on the ball and then as the tackler (head or shoulder clash?). My casual observation is that a significant proportion of head-injuries are incurred by the tackler either through poor technique or bad luck, but also because the player being tackled is (with some notable exceptions) not censured for leading with a hip, elbow, knee or shoulder. All the protection goes to the player with ball and none to the tackler. Combine this with increasing pressure to tackle aggressively and try to force the opposition backwards leading to greater impact between players. Talk of lowering the tackle-zone even further might only make things worse.
    Doesn't explain other injuries - knees, soft-tissue etc - escalating though.

    Fuller piece:http://www.englandrugby.com/news/professional-game-action-plan-player-injuries-released-with-2016-professional-rugby-injury-surveillance-project-report/

    A quick read suggests tackling injuries affect both tackler and tackled about the same.



  • @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido said in Injury spike:

    @bones said in Injury spike:

    @rapido what's the thinking behind changing the 5m to 10m?

    The game was very defense oriented/dominated, so to increase the amount of space.

    So to increase the amount of space and allow higher speed collisions? 🙂

    Yeah. I was digressing on how the ARL used to see players make it through a season relatively unscathed and then musing on rule changes that may have upset that equilibrium.

    Unless injuries were hidden by cortisone then I think a game of that speed and that size-a-player is the only full season long pro rugby comp I've seen work from an injury pov.

    But, Of course concussions back then in ARL were not even given the RU compulsory 3 weeks off.


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