The Injured Players Foundation works with a number of partners to produce preventative or promotional resources that could help to reduce rugby related injuries as well as inform future law changes.

We have a number of current research projects including:

Injuries within youth rugby

This study, funded by the IPF is being undertaken on our behalf by Bath University. They are investigating the cause of injuries within youth community and academy rugby to determine if the occurrence and severity etc is comparable between different ages and also levels of participation.

Over 400 players have fully taken part in this study, and we will compare the results with those from studies of injuries in senior professional rugby.


Community Rugby injury surveillance project

The IPF supports the RFU's game-wide community injury surveillance project which collects injury data from over 100 grass-roots clubs. Key findings this year are:

  • On average medics came on to the pitch to attend to an injury 4.7 times per game, with more attendances at higher playing levels
  • Head injuries accounted for the most (24%) of these attendances
  • An ambulance was used for 1 in every 77 matches
  • The tackle was the most common cause of injuries (but is also the most common phase of play compared with rucks, mauls etc)


So what?

  • It is important that clubs, schools and colleges have first aid support available to attend injuries on the pitch. Guidance on first aid provision and training for all playing levels is available at  
  • Head injuries and suspected concussions must be taken very seriously - further information and links to the IRB regulations in this area are available at  
  • Coaching correct tackle technique can help to reduce the risk of injury; the IRB Rugby Ready resource is a great source of information and the RFU provide extensive resources for coach development to support the training of correct technique


Psychological adaptation to catastrophic injury

Prof Andrew Sparkes has been working with IPF clients over the last year on an IPF-funded project to establish how players and their families come to terms with the changes a catastrophic injury makes to their lives:

  • The immediate support provided by the IPF was acknowledged by players and their families as both valuable and essential
  • Several players are willing to offer their advice and support to newly injured players which really embodies the "Rugby Family" ethos of the IPF
  • Occupation, both paid employment and hobbies was identified as a real help for players adjusting to life and developing as a person post-injury.


So what?

  • The IPF will continue to support players and their families from their time of injury for as long as is needed.
  • Focus will be given to supporting players with training and education to assist with career changes post-injury


Concussion study

We are supporting a masters research project investigating the awareness of concussion and the guidelines available for the management of this injury. This will inform us if more promotional and educational work is required to ensure players, coaches schools and clubs are fully aware of the signs, symptoms and necessary practice involved with concussion injuries.


CI injury surveillance

We are working with the IRB and other National Governing Bodies to examine catastrophic injuries which occur in Rugby Union throughout the world. By sharing information and resources we can get a much clearer picture of how and why these injuries happen and investigate ways to reduce their ocurrence.

We also work closely with the coaching and refereeing departments amongst others at the RFU to ensure their training courses include the relevant player safety elements.


Education and Training

Everyone involved in rugby has a role to play in making the game enjoyable and above all as safe as possible. Those who hold a coaching position or have a volunteer role providing pitch side care also have a specific responsibility to provide a safe and competent level of care to any injured player.

Rugby is a contact sport and in common with all contact sports, playing the game carries a risk of injury and while serious injuries are rare, those involved will need to be prepared to deal with the full range of incidents that could occur on the training ground or pitch.

The research work the IPF is undertaking will help to keep informing coaching, refereeing and first aid training through the RFU in the future. For further information about the courses (provided by the RFU) please see below or see the RFU website. (For further information on any of these please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).


RFU Sports First Aid Course

RFU Sports First Aid Course Tutor Training

First Aid Course Guidelines

First Aid Equipment Guidelines

Pitch Side Immediate Trauma Care Course (PSITCC)









Client Resources