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Concussion rates down at RWC

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Can high tackle sanction framework be branded a success as concussion rates are down at 2019 RWC?

By PA Authors
By Online Editors

World Rugby have announced a reduction in concussions and injury replacements at the 2019 World Cup compared with the last tournament four years ago.

Confirmed concussion rates have dropped by 12 per cent from the 2015 competition, and 35 per cent when compared to 22 elite adult competitions in 2018-19.

Japan 2019 is the first World Cup to feature the high tackle sanction framework, which is designed to reduce concussion risk by changing player behaviour from high-risk upright to lower-risk bent-at-the-waist tackles.

World Rugby said that injury replacements have reduced from 2.08 per game in 2015 to 1.13 in 2019.

The governing body added that no delayed concussions have been reported, and concussion rates at the current tournament are 10.5 concussions per 1,000 player hours, compared with 12.5 four years ago and current elite adult reported rates of 17 concussions per 1,000 player hours.

(Continue reading below…)

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World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Our commitment to player welfare is unwavering, and a core pillar of our strategies is to reduce injuries.

“It is highly encouraging that Rugby World Cup 2019 has demonstrated extremely positive outcomes in this priority area.”

World Rugby believe there are fewer concussions occurring in the tackle as players adjust to the lower acceptable height in the tackle – one tackle concussion every 3.7 matches versus one tackle concussion every 2.7 matches in 2015.

However, they added that while the tackle risk has reduced, the player at most risk remains the tackler.

WATCH: Knocked, the RugbyPass documentary on concussion

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Can high tackle sanction framework be branded a success as concussion rates are down at 2019 RWC?