Shoulder Injuries in English Community Rugby Union

V. R. Singh, G. Trewartha, S. P. Roberts, M. England, K. A. Stokes

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The aim of this study was to describe the incidence, severity and type of shoulder injuries resulting from match play in adult community rugby union between 2009-2013. A total of 254 time-loss shoulder injuries were reported, an overall incidence of 2.2 per 1000 hours (95% CI: 1.9 to 2.4) and a mean injury severity of 9.5 weeks missed (95% CI: 8.2 to 10.8). The semi-professional group had an incidence of 2.8 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI: 2.2 to 3.5), which was higher than the recreational group at 1.8 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI: 1.4 to 2.2, p=0.004). The incidence of acromioclavicular joint injury for semi-professional players was 1.2 per 1000 hours (95% CI: 0.8–1.6); which was significantly higher than the incidence of this injury type in recreational players (0.5 per 1000 hours 95% CI: 0.3–0.7, p=0.002). Overall, back row players sustained the highest incidence of all shoulder injuries for a given playing position, 2.9 injuries per 1000 hours (95% CI: 2.2-3.6). The tackle was the main event associated with injury. Injury prevention programmes and coaching strategies that consider tackle technique and physical conditioning of the shoulder region are therefore considered important.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-664
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number8
Early online date24 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Acromioclavicular
  • injury epidemiology
  • Sport
  • tackle
  • time-loss


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