OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects that the recent seasonal change in rugby league from winter to summer has had on the incidence of injury. METHODS: All injuries that occurred during games and training were recorded throughout four consecutive seasons (three winter, one summer) for the first team squad of a British professional rugby league club. Data included nature of injury, days lost as the result of injury, player position, month, and season. RESULTS: An increasing incidence of injury over the four seasons was observed, with the summer seasons having an incidence almost double that of the first winter season recorded (696.8 per 1000 hours and 363.55 per 1000 hours respectively). The severity of injury was shown to decline over the four seasons. Most injuries were incurred in matches (74.9%) rather than during training (25.1%). CONCLUSIONS: The findings show an increasing incidence of injury in summer rugby but with decreased severity. It is not known if this is the result of playing back to back rugby seasons or is a consequence of a change in playing season and ground conditions.
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