The Rugby Union Autumn internationals start this weekend, with the visit of the South African Spring Boks taking on England at Twickenham as the stand out fixture. Over the next 4 weeks, all of the Six Nation countries will pit their wit against at least one of the big 3 southern hemisphere teams. These fixtures are all about preparation for next years World Cup in Japan, and for England some good performances and victories will be most welcomed. However, the squad has quite a different look due to injuries to key personnel again. It may be time to see some lesser experienced players (on the international front) to stake a claim to be in the Six Nations and ultimately the World Cup squad next year. Injuries are part and parcel of Rugby, but one players misfortune can open the door for another to shine.
Having worked in Premiership Rugby in recent times, it is easy to see that the Lions Tour of New Zealand in the summer of 2017 left a number of players unable to replicate their form and fitness during the following season, and this also coincided with a dip in form for England last season. Even the British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton was forced to retire in the summer at the age of 29. He felt that he was just not able to recover from his injuries well enough to be able to perform at the same high level. These elite professional players have expert medical staff to help guide them through the injury process and return them back to the pitch as quickly and safely as possible. But professional sportsmen and women are not the only ones who pick up injuries. A recent study has shown that half of all sports injuries reported in A&E are sustained by a younger population. It appears that sporting participants under the age of 19 account for 47% of these cases, with football and rugby contributing the highest numbers. We all know that there are great benefits from sporting participation, but we also need to be mindful of the downside of participation. Injury prevention and injury rehabilitation are well established practices of sports medicine. Injuries do happen, that will always be the case, but if we can minimise their occurrence and their impact then more exposure to the positive side of sporting participation will be possible. and even more enjoyable. Especially for the younger population who may become the rugby stars of the future.
Check out the research by following the link to the BBC website www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-46059186