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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 …
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.