Concussions remain English rugby's most prevalent injury

Nigel Melville says an increase in intensity in rugby has led to more injuries

Nigel Melville says an increase in intensity in rugby has led to more injuries

Eddie Jones has been known for his tough training sessions at the England training camps, but statistics show that players are five times more likely to get injured on global duty than with their respective clubs.

The mean length of absence was 579 days per 1000 hours, compared to the overall mean of 96 days per 1000 hours. A long-serving absentee as a result of training with the national team a year ago is Bath prop Beno Obano, who has not played since sustaining knee ligament damage last May. As a outcome the burden of England training injuries during Rugby Skills (579 days absence per 1000 hrs) rose to more than five times the study mean (96 days absence per 1000 hrs).

England will be eager to better their fifth place finish in last year's tournament, but the RFU now have their focus on the damning statistics recently surfacing regarding the England rugby team's injury troubles.

That's led to criticism of Jones' methods.

The latest figures are not likely to placate them either but Nigel Melville, the RFU's interim CEO, said action is being taken after discussions with the Professional Game Board.

"International rugby is played at great intensity so obviously they train at greater intensity".

"I think that's starting to show some positive signs".

English rugby's head medical officer has called for the sport to consider significant law changes to make it safer after figures showed a record high in the number of serious injuries.

"If there is a desire to change player behaviour to reduce the risk of concussion, we believe that the threshold for receiving a card for a high tackle is now too high", the report said.

For a third-successive year, concussion remains the most commonly reported match injury at 20 per cent but there has been a minor reduction compared to 2016-17 with one fewer instance every eight games.

Rugby chiefs insist training injuries could be reduced by improving analysis of players' training loads and their transition to national set-ups by ensuring all parties use the same data and technology to assess them.

"There is strong evidence that while the likelihood of injury in the professional game appears to be stable, the increase in injury severity that we are seeing means that the overall burden of injury is increasing".

One of the measures being taken to reduce contact injuries is the trialling of a lower legal tackle height in the Championship Cup, but at the season's halfway stage it is premature to draw any conclusions.

"Around the world you are three times more likely to see a yellow card given for a deliberate knock on than a high tackle", he said.

"When the data collected over the past five seasons is combined, the incidence of match injuries on natural grass and artificial turf are not different", the report continued. Nathan Soyeux, a 23-year-old student, passed away in Dijon on Monday after suffering injuries in a game in November.

52% of all match injuries are associated with the tackle, with 28% of all injuries associated with tackling and 24% associated with being tackled.

But rugby in general is under the gun over an escalating injury situation.