The nature and incidence of injuries in a Currie Cup rugby team from 2001 to 2003

  • HB Millson
  • GD Hechter
  • KD Aginsky
  • C Bolger
  • CJ Saunders


Objective. To describe the type and occurrence of injuries in a South African Currie Cup rugby team over 3 consecutive seasons (2001 - 2003), during which time strategies to reduce injuries were introduced by the management team consisting of the coaching and medical support staff.

Design. A retrospective, descriptive study.

Setting. All injuries, grade 1 and above, of 56 contracted, male players (age 25.1 - 2.8 years) of a South African Currie Cup rugby team were recorded over 3 consecutive seasons.

Main outcome measures. Injury data collected included the type and mechanism of injury as well as the body part injured, the period of the season in which the injury occurred and whether the injury was a first episode or recurring injury. Injury rates are expressed as the number of injuries per 1 000 hours at risk.

Results. The number of injuries increased as the season progressed. Strains (N =56), sprains (N = 29) and contusions (N = 44) accounted for the majority of injuries each season, while the most injured body part was the lower limb. Direct injuries accounted for the majority of total injuries across all 3 seasons. The most important finding was a reduction in overall injury rate over the 3 seasons (p < 0.002).

Conclusions. These results suggest that preventive strategies implemented by team coaches and physiotherapists may reduce the number of injuries in rugby union, and continuous evaluation and management of training strategies is advised.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2078-516X
print ISSN: 1015-5163