The RFU is constantly engaged with research into player safety. It commissions independent studies as well as conducting its own research and collaborates with other sports and rugby unions. The RFU believes it is important to share this information and openly publishes the findings. The Community Rugby Injury Surveillance and Prevention Project (CRISP) is just one of the ongoing research studies, run in conjunction with the University of Bath, it is now recognised as one of the largest and longest running community level injury surveillance studies in the world.
The RFU has also conducted research in the Tyrrells Premier 15s - the top level of women’s club rugby in England - and in youth rugby during the 2017-2018 season.
The Women’s Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (WRISP) will be pivotal in both providing the baseline data needed to assess trends in injury risk, and in guiding further investigation into injuries that are common, severe, or increasing in incidence.
The Youth Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (YRISP) collects match exposure and match injuries from schools across England at the under-13, under-15 and under-18 age groups. The aim of the project is to better understand the risk, types and mechanisms of injuries in schoolboy rugby across different age groups. This will allow us to better inform injury prevention strategies, such as rule changes, so that the safety of the game can be improved for those participating.
The RFU also ran a three year schoolboy injury prevention study which is the largest of its kind in the world. The findings of this research led to the introduction of an exercise programme, called Activate, that can be integrated into training and pre-match sessions. The exercises included in the programme are designed to improve functional and core strength, balance and agility, all of which assist a player in dealing with the physical demands of the game.
Ongoing research is critical to making the game safer as it helps shape training course content on good practice and safe techniques.
The CRISP project collection occurs annually and we are always looking for clubs to get involved. If your club has an adult male team playing in levels 3-9 and would like to find out more information please go towww.bath.ac.uk/health/projects/rfu-rugby-injury or contact email@example.com.