Profile of an American Amateur Rugby Union Sevens Series

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Rugby union will enter the Olympic arena as Rugby Sevens in 2016.


To investigate the injury rate, injury type, and nature of injuries sustained in an amateur American rugby union sevens tournament series.

Study Design:

Descriptive epidemiology study.


The rate, demographics, and characteristics of injury were evaluated in 1536 rugby union sevens players, from 128 sides, competing in 4 amateur 1-day tournaments in a USA Rugby local area rugby union.


Forty-eight injuries occurred over 4 tournaments, for an injury rate of 55.4 injuries per 1000 playing hours. Head and neck injuries were most common (33.3% of injuries), followed by upper extremity (31.3%), trunk (18.8%), lower extremity (14.6%), and physiologic injuries (2.1%). The most common type of injury was ligament sprain (25.0%); followed by concussion (14.6%), hematoma/contusion (12.5%), muscle strain (10.4%), and abrasion (8.3%). Tackling was the most common mechanism of injury (74.5%). Males were injured at a significantly higher rate than females (RR, 7.5, P < .01), but no significant difference was observed based on player position (P = .08).


Injuries are common among American amateur rugby athletes, with a substantial proportion involving the head and neck region.

Clinical Relevance:

Understanding injury patterns in an American rugby union will be important for formulating future injury prevention, assessment, and treatment protocols.

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