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So what is a Rugby injury?

For the purpose of this short article, we will deal specifically with the most common injuries occurring in Football codes (Rugby Union, Rugby League, Aussie Rules and Soccer).

Firstly, we can say that any Injury will fall into two categories: ACUTE and CHRONIC. As a coach, parent, trainer, first aider, or even as a person watching a game, by far the most common type of injury we will encounter is ACUTE.

An ACUTE injury is one that is in its early stages (probably has just happened) as opposed to a CHRONIC injury which is one that is long standing and ongoing. Someone that suffers from a chronic knee injury, by definition, has had that injury for a long period of time. We will concentrate on the treatment, management and rehabilitation of ACUTE injuries as chronic injuries should best be left to medical staff.

In all ACUTE injuries (just happened), the use of ICE is strongly recommended, and if you only remember one thing from this article let it be if in doubt whether to use ICE or HEAT, always go for ICE, because Ice will never make the injury worse, but Heat can certainly make things worse.

How To Treat an Acute Injury (R.I.C.E.)

REST (Removal from Game)
COMPRESSION (to limit further swelling)
ELEVATION (to restrict the flow of blood to the area).

As a general rule, this procedure can be adopted for all non serious injuries; obviously removal from the game by a non qualified person where there are fractures, dislocations or possible spinal concerns should be avoided.

No ambulance personnel, will ever criticise for you for calling an ambulance, and there is no fee involved if the patient does not leave in the ambulance (Cannot be forced to go in the ambulance).
Occasionally your patient may have made a complete recovery after you have called the ambulance. Do not be embarrassed by this, as it is far better to be safe than sorry!!

One of the pressures that is put on parents, coaches, trainers etc., when dealing with an injured player on the field sometimes comes from opposing players (sometimes even your own players), and parents and others from the sideline, wanting the game to proceed. Referees normally are very good, knowing that they have a duty of care to the players they are in charge of. It is very easy to get flustered when this happens, but a cool head and using caution and a basic knowledge of first aid is the way to go. Sometimes the injured player himself(herself) will tell you they are fine, but this may be just bravado for others on the field and they don’t always know best.


The most important thing to remember when treating an acute injury.


if in doubt whether to use ICE or HEAT, always go for ICE

first Aid Tips


Click on the topics below to read more.

So what is an injury?
Treating a Bleeding Noses
Dealing with Fractures of the Arm and Hand
Spinal and Back Injuries
Dealing with unconsciousness