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rugby league - nrl

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Rugby league is the main professional team sport played in Eastern Australia. It is also very popular at a junior and amateur level. However, injuries are common because of the amount of body contact that occurs and the amount of running that is required to participate in the game. Rugby League involves players accelerating, decelerating, changing direction, tackling, passing and catching the ball by hand, and kicking. Due to the speed and contact nature of the game, injuries can and do occur.

How many injuries?

  • From 2002-2003, 1,612 people were admitted to hospitals across Australia for Rugby League injuries, at a rate of 678 injured persons per 100,000 Rugby League players. During this period, the hospitalisation rate per 100,000 participants was highest among 25 to 34 year olds and five times higher in males.

  • Recent studies show that there is a very small risk of injury to junior Rugby League players in the 6 to 11 year age group, with an injury rate of 4.1 injuries per 1,000 playing hours.

  • The incidence of Rugby League injuries is increased as playing level is increased, in particular in the more professional and competitive levels of play.

  • Injury rates are lower in training than in matches.


The causes and types of injuries

Injuries to the lower limbs account for over 50% of all injuries. The most common specific injuries are

  • ankle lateral ligament tears,

  • knee medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligament tears,

  • groin musculotendinous tears,

  • hamstring and calf muscle tears,

  • quadriceps muscle contusions.

  • Head injuries are common and consist of varying degrees of concussion as well as lacerations and facial fractures. Serious head injury is rare.

  • injuries are to the acromioclavicular joint (collar bone) and

  • glenohumeral (shoulder) joints.(1)


Factors increasing your injury risk

  • Feeling fatigued.

  • Not wearing protective equipment.

  • Poor physical conditioning, lack of training and sprinting speed.

  • Lack of the correct Rugby League skills and techniques – particularly tackling and side stepping techniques.

  • Poor rehabilitation from previous injuries.

Concussion Protocol

NRL Video presentation

Guidelines for the Management of Concussion in Rugby League

Other Information

Rugby League Policies and Guidelines

Sports Trainer Documents

Injury Prevention Videos - Click on the link for video instruction

Warm-Up Stretch - A Skip


Warm-Up Stretch - B Skip


Warm-Up Stretch - High Knee's


Warm-Up Stretch - Back Flicks


Warm-Up Stretch - Karaoke


Warm-Up Stretch - Leg Swing


Warm-Up Stretch - Side Leg Swing


Warm-Up Stretch - Leg Drive


Warm-Up Stretch - Calf Press


Warm-Up Stretch - Knee Rocking


Warm-Up Stretch - Hip Flexor / Hamstring


Warm-Up Stretch - Lower Back Stretch

Warm-up video - Putting it all together

(there is no sound for the first couple of minutes but good video)

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Skills Drills
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1. Common rugby league injuries. Recommendations for treatment and preventative measures. - gibbs et al. (1994)

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