Risk factors that predict severe injuries in university rugby sevens players

Rezvan Mirsafaei Rizi, Simon S. Yeung, Nathan J. Stewart, Wai Ella Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Design Prospective cohort study. Methods Rugby players from three universities (N = 104; 90M:14F; 20.6 ± 1.9 years) were recruited before the beginning of the season. Players underwent pre-season assessments of power, strength, speed, agility, endurance, stability, and flexibility. Throughout the season, rugby-related injury and exposure data were collected. Potential predictor variables were analyzed using Cox proportional regression model to identify risk factors associated with severe injuries (time loss > 28 days). Results Thirty-one injuries occurred during the rugby season. The match and training injury incidence rates were 59.3 injuries and 3.3 injuries per 1000 player-hours, respectively. Lower limb injuries were most common and most severe. The ankle joint was the most prevalent site of injury, and ligamentous injury was most common (48.4%). Nine severe injuries were sustained resulting in an average time loss of 51.3 ± 14.6 days. Female (hazard ratio [HR] = 8.35; 95% confidence intervals [CI] = 2.01–34.8), slower (HR = 3.51; 95% CI = 1.17–10.5), and less agile (HR = 2.22; 95% CI = 1.26–3.92) players as well as those with hip flexors tightness (HR = 1.12; 95% CI = 1.00–1.25) were at significantly greater risk for sustaining severe injuries. Conclusions Limited studies are available on risk factors associated with amateur rugby players in the Sevens version. The development of gender-specific injury prevention measures that emphasize speed and agility training, and improve hip flexor extensibility may be important to reduce the risk of severe injuries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-652
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


  • Agility
  • Physical tests
  • Risk factors
  • Rugby injuries
  • Speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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