The injury risk associated with schoolboy Rugby has been raised as a matter of public concern, leading to calls to formulate appropriate preventive strategies. Consequently, this programme of research was undertaken to investigate characteristics that might influence injury risk in schoolboy rugby players, as well as interventions to reduce injury risk.The first study of this thesis (Chapter Three) presents a two-season prospective cohort study, which identifies several anthropometric characteristics and physical fitness components associated with injury risk in schoolboy Rugby players. Chapter Four outlines a staged approach to formulating a preventive exercise programme for use in schoolboy Rugby based on scientific evidence, expert knowledge, and end user opinion. In Chapter Five, the efficacy of a preventive exercise programme to reduce injury risk in schoolboy Rugby players is evaluated, demonstrating clinically meaningful reductions in concussion risk when compared with a standardised control exercise programme. In addition, greater programme compliance and dose are found to accentuate reductions across many match-derived injury outcomes measures. Finally, Chapter Six highlights meaningful associations between coach-related psychosocial factors and coaches’ compliance with using a preventive exercise programme, which may be useful in future with formulating strategies to enhance compliance with programme use.To summarise, this thesis addresses the identification of potentially modifiable risk factors and applies a novel approach to reduce injury risk in schoolboy Rugby players, emphasises the importance of compliance and dose in moderating the influence of preventive exercise programme efficacy, and outlines the associations between coach-related psychosocial factors and coaches’ compliance with using a preventive exercise programme in a schoolboy Rugby population.
|Date of Award||27 Jun 2017|
|Supervisor||Keith Stokes (Supervisor), Sean Williams (Supervisor) & Grant Trewartha (Supervisor)|