England players at higher risk of injury under Eddie Jones

Ruben Hill
Января 10, 2019

Wasps flanker Sam Jones was forced to retire past year after suffering a catastrophic broken leg during a judo session with England in 2016.

Concerns over the burden put on the England players were raised by club chiefs following a run of injuries with Bath owner Bruce Craig labelling a serious leg injury to prop Ben Obano with the national squad as "totally unacceptable".

The PRISP annual report (Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project ) has stated: "During the 2017-18 season, the mean incidence of England training injuries sustained during Rugby Skills was double that of the study period average".

"We obviously discussed the situation at the PGB a few months ago and what we did as a result of that was look at the transition of players from their club environments into the worldwide environment", said RFU acting chief executive Nigel Melville.

"International rugby is played at great intensity so obviously they train at greater intensity".

The average return-to-play time for an England player injured in skills training rose from nine days in 2015-16 to 44 and 47.

"I think that's starting to show some positive signs".

"If there is a desire to change player behaviour to reduce the risk of concussion, we believe that the threshold for receiving a card for a high-tackle is now too high", the report said.

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.

Concussion has been the most common reported injury in the England premiership for many seasons, accounting for about 20 per cent. This comes in the wake of news that French rugby has witnessed their fourth fatality in eight months. Nathan Soyeux, a 23-year-old student, passed away in Dijon on Monday after suffering injuries in a game in November.

With collisions in the modern game getting harder, faster and stronger, it is clear that medics, officials, players and coaches need to work together to ensure safety in the sport.

"The data suggests that more significant changes to the game might be needed to reverse these trends", said RFU medical services director Simon Kemp.

The severity of injury sustained has contributed to the increase and this, combined with the small number of England training sessions, has prompted the RFU to advise interpreting the figures "with caution".

The report also highlighted the need for tougher action on high tackles as rugby continues to battle an alarming rise in concussions.

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

The report showed that the overall number of injuries in all competitions was slightly higher than the yearly average, but that there had been a steep rise in the number of more severe injuries leading to lengthy absences.

52% of all match injuries are associated with the tackle, with 28% of all injuries associated with tackling and 24% associated with being tackled - 2017-18 was the first season that the incidence of all injuries was greater for the tackler than the ball carrier.

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