Published: Sat, January 12, 2019
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Jones's England sessions leave players sidelined for FIVE TIMES longer

Jones's England sessions leave players sidelined for FIVE TIMES longer

Increased regulations have tried to decrease the severity of injuries sustained during matches, for example by decreasing the tackle height, with concussion accounting for 20% of all injuries in the top flight of English rugby, as well as the average severity of match injures, in time taken to return to full play, increasing to 37 days last season.

"We need to work with World Rugby to think about the future of the game and how we can innovatively design laws to keep the central characteristics of rugby where we want them to be whilst minimising injury risk", says Simon Kemp, RFU's medical services director. "There's greater intensity in global training and strength and conditioning coaches are working between club and country".

It's nearly a year since the Rugby Football Union released an eight-point action plan to tackle the increasing severity of injuries in professional rugby, but the size of their task remains daunting.

"We've been trialling the reduced tackle height into the Championship Cup", Kemp added.

The report, which will provide the key focus areas of the Professional Game Action Plan on Player Injuries - a group formed by the RFU, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players' Association a year ago - also provided data on injuries suffered on artificial grass pitches.

Nigel Melville, the acting RFU chief executive, admitted the issue was being addressed and said: "We did recognise a problem and working with coaches, clubs and strength and conditioning experts has improved the situation". "We are looking at how to manage the transition of players from club to global rugby because it requires players to train at a greater intensity".

"There is strong evidence that while the likelihood of injury in the professional game appears to be stable, the increase in injury severity that we are seeing means that the overall burden of injury is increasing". Nathan Soyeux, a 23-year-old student, passed away in Dijon on Monday after suffering injuries in a game in November. "The PRISP data suggests that more significant changes to the game might be needed to reverse these trends".

However, the report highlighted the "relatively small" number of training sessions and injuries in the study, meaning the figures should be "interpreted with caution". "We are halfway through the trial so can't report on its effect on concussion yet". Overall, more than half - 52 percent - of all match injuries are sustained in the tackle.

Like the total number of overall injuries, concussion saw a reduction in incidents from the previous season, but the average length of time players were absent for did increase.

Head injury protocols carry a mandatory six days' absence for concussions. We've seen that trend in Rugby World Cups so we need to work with World Rugby about the future vision of the game while minimising injury risk.

We, and World Rugby, don't believe the sanction of yellow or red cards occurs frequently enough to change player behaviour.' HIGH-TACKLE LAW A player must not tackle (or try to tackle) an opponent above the line of the shoulders even if the tackle starts below the line of the shoulders.

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