The Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project (PRISP) for the 2015-16 season was published showing an increase in concussion for the fifth season running. The annual report, the most comprehensive injury study in professional rugby, reported the incidence of overall match-day injuries was lower than any other season since the study began in 2002 – seven years after the sport turned professional – although concussion remains the most commonly reported injury, accounting for approximately 25 per cent of all match day injuries.
World Rugby, the sports world governing body, have introduced tough new sanctions in recent weeks with a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to head contact in a bid to reduce the high numbers of concussions, which RFU chief medical officer Simon Kemp insist are down to better reporting and education around the issue and not the increasingly physical nature of professional rugby. ‘While the overall incidence of injury is lower than that reported in any previous season, single-season results need to be treated with caution, particularly given injury severity remained high. Our members accept that injury is an inevitable part of the game, however, they also expect appropriate welfare provisions to be in place for them and the game must continue to focus on mitigating risk through research, education and the appropriate management of injuries.’