Match and Training Injuries in Women’s Rugby Union: A Systematic Review of Published Studies Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • BACKGROUND:There is a paucity of studies reporting on women's injuries in rugby union. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this systematic review was to describe the injury epidemiology for women's rugby-15s and rugby-7s match and training environments. METHODS:Systematic searches of PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science Core Collection, Scopus, CINAHL(EBSCO) and ScienceDirect databases using keywords. RESULTS:Ten articles addressing the incidence of injury in women's rugby union players were retrieved and included. The pooled incidence of injuries in women's rugby-15s was 19.6 (95% CI 17.7-21.7) per 1000 match-hours (h). Injuries in women's rugby-15s varied from 3.6 (95% CI 2.5-5.3) per 1000 playing-h (including training and games) to 37.5 (95% CI 26.5-48.5) per 1000 match-h. Women's rugby-7s had a pooled injury incidence of 62.5 (95% CI 54.7-70.4) per 1000 player-h and the injury incidence varied from 46.3 (95% CI 38.7-55.4) per 1000 match-h to 95.4 (95% CI 79.9-113.9) per 1000 match-h. The tackle was the most commonly reported injury cause with the ball carrier recording more injuries at the collegiate [5.5 (95% CI 4.5-6.8) vs. 3.5 (95% CI 2.7-4.6) per 1000 player-game-h; χ2(1) = 6.7; p = 0.0095], and Women's Rugby World Cup (WRWC) [2006: 14.5 (95% CI 8.9-23.7) vs. 10.9 (95% CI 6.2-19.2) per 1000 match-h; χ2(1) = 0.6; p = 0.4497; 2010: 11.8 (95% CI 6.9-20.4) vs. 1.8 (95% CI 0.5-7.3) per 1000 match-h; χ2(1) = 8.1; p = 0.0045] levels of participation. Concussions and sprains/strains were the most commonly reported injuries at the collegiate level of participation. DISCUSSION:Women's rugby-7s had a higher un-pooled injury incidence than women's rugby-15s players based on rugby-specific surveys and hospitalisation data. The incidence of injury in women's rugby-15s and rugby-7s was lower than men's professional rugby-15s and rugby-7s competitions but similar to male youth rugby-15s players. Differences in reporting methodologies limited comparison of results. CONCLUSION:Women's rugby-7s resulted in a higher injury incidence than women's rugby-15s. The head/face was the most commonly reported injury site. The tackle was the most common cause of injury in both rugby-7s and rugby-15s at all levels. Future studies are warranted on injuries in women's rugby-15s and rugby-7s. PROSPERO REGISTRATION NUMBER:CRD42018109054 (last updated on 17 January 2019).

authors

  • King, D
  • Hume, P
  • Cummins, C
  • Pearce, Alan
  • Clark, T
  • Foskett, A
  • Barnes, M

publication date

  • 2019