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‘Pre-activity movement control exercise programme to prevent injuries in youth rugby’: some concerns
  1. Adam John White1,
  2. John Batten2,
  3. Graham Kirkwood3,
  4. Eric Anderson2,
  5. Allyson M Pollock3
  1. 1 Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  2. 2 Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, University of Winchester, Winchester, UK
  3. 3 Institute of Health and Society, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adam John White, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK; adamwhite{at}

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All efforts to reduce injuries in school rugby are welcome and the cluster randomised controlled trial by Hislop and colleagues deserves attention.1 Here, the authors presented a preactivity exercise programme that trained strength, agility and balance, with reductions in time-loss injuries and concussions claimed. Yet we highlight fiveprimary concerns that arise from this study, which are particularly important given that the programme is now being implemented nationally.2

Concern 1: sample characteristics

Hislop and colleagues contacted 220 potentially eligible independent schools of which 40 consented to participate. There were 20 schools in each of the intervention and control groups—although 9 schools later withdrew (3 intervention, 6 control). Only seven schools (four intervention, three control) adhered to the programme at the optimal compliance rate of three or more weekly sessions. Yet no details are given of the characteristics and demographics of the …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

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