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Dr Matthew Cross: epidemiology and risk factors for injury in professional rugby union
  1. Matthew J Cross1,2
  1. 1 Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK
  2. 2 Rugby Football Union, Twickenham, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Matthew J Cross, Department for Health, University of Bath, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK; M.Cross{at}

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What did I do?  

The aim of my PhD (figure 1) was to investigate the injury epidemiology and risk factors for injury in professional Rugby Union. I wanted to provide evidence-based guidance to medical practitioners and coaches on concussion management and training periodisation.

Why did I do it?


Concussive injury is a common occurrence in collision sports, but the evidence base for informing the content and the duration of current graduated return to play guidelines was limited.1 In addition, it had been suggested that premature return to play from concussion could possibly increase the risk of adverse long-term neurological consequences.2

Training load

We know that an injury is likely to impact on an individual’s ability to train and compete. Higher injury burden has also been associated with poorer team success in professional football codes.3 4 A player or team’s training load has been shown to be an …

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  • Contributors Keith Stokes (KS) and Grant Trewartha supervised the thesis that this manuscript summarises. Dr Simon Kemp (SK) also supported all studies included within the thesis. KS and SK reviewed the final version of this summary.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval REACH Ethics Committee - University of Bath.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.