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Logo of brjsmedBritish Journal of Sports MedicineVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Br J Sports Med. 2007 September; 41(9): 587.
PMCID: PMC2465378


This study is another to demonstrate the early‐season bias for injuries in rugby union, with a unique analysis of the variable, ground hardness, long thought to be a possible explanation for the early‐season increase in injuries. The results show that in southern New Zealand there is a definite decrease in ground hardness over the course of the season, roughly corresponding to the decrease in injury rate. However, as the authors point out, “round” itself is a better predictor of injury than ground hardness, suggesting that confounders are at work. Further study is needed to differentiate between other ground‐related variables (such as shoe‐surface traction and grass type), intrinsic factors (such as player fitness) and methodological artefacts. Nevertheless, this study confirms the early‐season bias for injury as one which is critical for an understanding of injury prevention in rugby.

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