Injury Characteristics in Japanese Collegiate Rugby Union through One Season

Masahiro Takemura, Satoshi Nagai, Koichi Iwai, Akira Nakagawa,
Takuo Furukawa, Shumpei Miyakawa and Ichiro Kono

[Received February 14, 2009 ; Accepted May 1, 2009] 

This study aimed to examine the ‘early-season bias’ in rugby union in Japan, and to describe the nature and severity of injuries in matches during the 2005 season at the collegiate level. Injury surveillance involved sixty-six rugby union players from one university club. The playing season was divided into three phases; pre-competition phase, specific preparation phase, and main competition phase. The difference of injury incidence among the three phases and the trend of injury incidence in the pre-competition phase and main competition phase were examined statistically. Overall injury incidence was 48.4 injuries/1000 player-hours in matches and there was a significant difference of injury incidence among the three phases (p<0.05). Injury incidence in the pre-competition phase indicated a significant decline (p<0.001), however, in the main competition phase, injury incidence significantly increased toward the end of the season (p<0.001). The current study showed less possibility of the association of ‘early-season bias’ with ground condition in Japan.

Keywords: rugby union, early-season bias, injury incidence, severity, nature of injuries

[Football Science Vol.6, 39-46, 2009]