Rugby players and concussion underreporting

Coach/Teacher, General, Official/Administrator, Participant/Parent

October 27, 2023

The player runs with the rugby ball. Seeing a teammate to their left, the player tosses the ball just ahead of their teammate. The teammate runs toward the ball and catches it in the air. Opposing player then comes over and tackles the teammate, who drops the ball. The rest of the players gather around the ball and the play continues. The teammate remains on the ground and slowly turns over.

Concussions happen to rugby players, but not all concussions are reported. In a recent study, researchers surveyed over 400 male and female professional rugby players on various concussion-related questions. The researchers found that 20% of the respondents did not report concussion related symptoms to the medical staff over two seasons. Two common reasons for not reporting a concussion were 1) not wanting to be removed from a game and 2) not wanting to let their teammates down. However, staying in the game can put a player at greater risk for more serious injury and it is important to report any concussion symptoms so a player can properly recover and get back on the field with their teammates.


Learn more in Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport:

Learn more about rugby injuries and how to prevent them on Active and Safe:

Learn more about concussion with the Concussion Awareness Training Tool (CATT):