Background Sri Lankan university rugby players only have 3–4 years to understand the game and master its techniques. Due to the nature of the game, players can be seriously injured without proper skills.
Objective This study aimed to understand the injury patterns of University-level rugby players according to their positions.
Design This prospective study of university-level rugby players was carried out after the Sri Lanka University Games (SLUG) 2019 concluded.
Setting The study population was players in the squads of universities that participated in SLUG 2019, which is considered an amateur rugby tournament.
Patients (or Participants) The participants who volunteered were screened with the following inclusion criteria: 1. Age range: 23±3 years, 2. Registered for SLUG 2019, 3. Injury-free for a window of 6 months before the start of the season, 4. Free from systemic injuries
Interventions (or Assessment of Risk Factors) The study examined which player positions are more prone to injuries. Accordingly, the risk factors identified were: contact injury, contact event, injury location and injury type.
Main Outcome Measurements Significant associations between the player position and the above-mentioned risk factors were explored.
Results The most injury-prone position was the Lock position (18.4%) whereas the least injury-prone positions were Fly-halves and Number 8s (2.6%). The most common injury location was the ankle (21.4%) and 42.9% of ankle injuries were suffered by Locks. There was a significant association (p=0.010) between player position and injury location. In contrast, no significant associations (p>0.05) were observed between player position and contact injury, contact event or injury type.
Conclusions The Lock position was more prone to injury than any other position during SLUG 2019 but the majority of the players were injured regardless of the playing position. Thorough physical conditioning and skill practice could be key areas of concern to reduce injuries in university-level rugby.