Although there have been reports in male World Cup rugby there has been no research reporting injury rates in international female rugby.
Objective: To determine the rate of injury at the 2006 Women’s Rugby World Cup (WRWC).
Methods: All participating teams at the 2006 WRWC were enrolled prospectively in this study. Informed consent was obtained from each player. Health care workers for each team collected training and game exposure data and injury information.
Results: A total of 55 (16%) of the players sustained at least one injury (10.03 per 1000 player hours). Four players (1%) sustained two injuries. Forty-five injuries occurred during games (37.5 per 1000 player hours) and fourteen injuries occurred during practice (12.54 per 1000 player hours). Injury rate for the forwards was 39.3 and backs were 42.2 per 1000 player hours. The front row had the highest injury rate (62.5 per 1000 player hours). 63.6% of injuries occurred during the tackle. Most injuries occurred to the neck, knee and head/face. Most injuries were of sprain, muscle injury and contusion categories. There were five fractures during the event and four reported concussions.
Conclusion: This is the first study examining injury rates in female rugby players at a World Cup. The injury rates compare similarly to a previous men’s World Cup. The rates for head and neck injury are higher than reported in male injury surveillance studies. As well, compared to male data, the front row had an unusually high rate of injury. Future research should examine this discrepancy.