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Injury Prevalence and Characteristics in Elite Junior Rugby League Players


Rugby league is an international collision sport where players participate in physically demanding activities. Musculoskeletal injuries are common to rugby league and injury incidence has been reported in 35 studies across all participants from elite to junior levels. Although the nature and incidence of injuries are well documented in senior rugby league players, only five studies conducted in Australian and New Zealand, describe injuries at the junior level. A notable feature of the two recent studies is the higher injury incidence compared with studies from the previous decade. Given that the musculoskeletal system is still developing in juniors, the intensity of play, training regimes and injury incidence warrants rigorous documentation and careful monitoring.


Dr Rhonda Orr.

Research location

Exercise, Health and Performance Research Group

Program type



Currently in rugby league, there is no standardised procedure in practice for monitoring or recording injures from elite to junior competitions. The development of an operational sports injury surveillance paradigm in rugby league has lagged behind other contact sports. Two drawbacks to developing a standardised approach have been the inconsistencies in injury definitions and methodologies used, thus leading to difficulties in comparing injury data between studies. This project aims to investigate the incidence, severity and characteristics of injuries sustained by elite junior rugby league players over one season, and to develop a systematic injury surveillance system that can be implemented in junior rugby league. The study's outcomes will assist the code to develop a functional process for injury reduction/prevention programs in order to achieve sustainable health in elite junior players for their long-term progression in rugby league.

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Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is 1340

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