Concussion rates in pro rugby rise for the fifth straight year

Despite all the recent concussion awareness and research and precautions and outcry, a recent report indicates that concussion rates in professional rugby have risen for the fifth year in a row.


Although overall match-day injuries were down in the 2015-2016 season from recent years, concussions account for 25% of the injuries. The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project’s report has stoked a hornet’s nest of concern.


The increase in numbers can be at least partially attributed to better diagnosing. Teams are catching more head injuries than they used to, so the increase probably hasn’t been as dramatic as the numbers make it seem.


Nevertheless, a steady increase over five years cannot be explained away so easily. A pattern that consistent needs to be addressed, and World Rugby has risen to the challenge. It has instituted a new zero-tolerance policy toward head contact, a critical move to protect the players from head injury.


Because of this measure and previous ones, including “recognize and remove” initiatives, we will hopefully be seeing a decrease in rugby concussions this season for the first time in five years.


*Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.