Report Reveals Rise In English Injury Severity Since Jones Appointment

Annette Crawford
January 12, 2019

England rugby players are more likely to get injured under coach Eddie Jones.

In 2017-18, there were rises in casualties sustained during rugby skills and strength and conditioning, the former more than double the figure for the overall surveillance period.

The mean length of absence was 579 days per 1000 hours, compared to the overall mean of 96 days per 1000 hours.

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 spotlight first shone on the rigours of Jones's training regime when former Wasps flanker Sam Jones was forced to retire at the age of 26 after suffering a terrible leg break during a judo session while training with England back in 2016.

That's led to criticism of Jones' methods.

"It's still early days - the action plan was launched towards the end of the 2017/18 season, but we believe the plan covers the key issues and we will use the 2017/18 PRISP injury data to shape the plan as it evolves and is embedded into the English professional game".

"International rugby is played at great intensity so obviously they train at greater intensity". We think that is starting to show some positive signs.' The report delves into the injuries to all English professional players since the RFU began its records in the 2002-03 season.

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.

Concussion remains a priority for us all and we are now looking at concussion prevention with the trial of a reduced tackle height in the 2018/19 Championship Cup.

World Rugby has sought to limit the further spread of concussion injuries by trialling lower tackle height regulations, while the RFU is working with World Rugby on the idea of a post-game high-tackle warning for challenges that go unpunished during the match.

"The data suggests that more significant changes to the game might be needed to reverse these trends", RFU medical services director Simon Kemp said. 'Currently around the world you are three times more likely to see a card for a deliberate knock-on than you are for a high tackle.

"When the data collected over the past five seasons is combined, the incidence of match injuries on natural grass and artificial turf are not different", the report continued.

In 12 months it is hoped it will be possible to assess injury trends across the globe and the governing body will finally be able to tackle the injury crisis head on. Nathan Soyeux, a 23-year-old student, is the latest causality as he passed away in Dijon after he was admitted in the hospital showing adverse reactions following a tackle during game for engineering schools.

A spokesman for World Rugby said the governing body particularly welcomed the reduction in concussions, saying in a statement: "We will continue to collaborate with all unions and global players on evidence-based solutions to mitigate injury risk as demonstrated via the wide-ranging programmes being implemented in 2019".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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