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Rugby injuries.

The state of the collective psyche of South Africans is much dependent on the performance of our national sporting teams. Our soccer side, Bafana Bafana, has yet to deliver on its earlier promise. Cricket has provided a roller-coaster ride with a brief claim to the world's number one spot after beating Australia in test matches on their home ground, only to convincingly lose the return series in South Africa. The national rugby team is the present holder of the world championship trophy.

Rugby is a gladiatorial sport where deliberate physical contact, preferably to eliminate the opponent from the game, distinguishes it from other major team sports. Injuries as a result of rugby are therefore frequent and often serious. Fuller and colleagues report on the impact of the International Rugby Board's experimental law variations on the incidence and nature of match injuries in southern hemisphere professional rugby union. (1)

Rugby union is popular, attracting widespread spectator support, due to the physical nature of the game and its ability to offer roles for athletes of all shapes and sizes. Because of the high incidence of injuries it is important to monitor the effect of law changes.

Compared with other major rugby competitions the authors found that the incidence, nature and causes of injuries were similar. The highest proportions of injuries were lower limb muscle/tendon and joint (non-bone)/ligament injuries. The tackle was the most common cause of injury, which is consistent with previous reports in English professional rugby.

This detailed study will provide a useful reference for further work in this field.
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Title Annotation:Editor's Choice
Publication:South African Medical Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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