Rugby is one of the most physically demanding games in terms of player injuries. Since both Rugby Union and Rugby League have gone professional injuries have increased nearly 50% due to rugby players becoming physically stronger and faster and playing with generally more determination.
As with most sports, people forget to stretch prior to the start of the game. With Rugby having sudden bursts at any point in the game, it is vital to stretch the whole body in order to prevent injury. After a gradual warm-up spend time stretching, both statically; (see the section on stretching in the fitness area of the Web Site), then DYNAMICALLY.
Dynamic stretching involves slow controlled rhythmic movements progressively through the range of movements associated with your game. A section on dynamic stretching will be added to the site.
A key point to remember is at the half time stage in a match, keep warm, take in fluid and energy bars that you are used to, to help your energy and concentration levels. Whilst listening to any team tactics, keep stretching your muscles and if possible, learn how to massage your own legs to help prevent injury and prepare yourself for the start of the game.
At the end of your game, spend time again stretching after you have showered / bathed, paying particular attention to any cuts or bruises. Have any injuries looked at as soon as possible, as minor injuries become major ones, resulting in fewer matches for you.
Due to the nature of the game, you will always pick up injuries, avoid these as much as possible by wearing correct protection and footwear. Use strapping around your ankles and to help strengthen the ankle joint.
Head wear and protective padding is certainly recommended, along with a good pair of rugby boots, a high cut gives good support and protection suitably for props, hookers and locks. A mid cut allows slightly freer movement whilst still giving both support and protection, normally worn by the flankers and number 8. A low cut will give the greatest range of movement at the expense of support and ankle protection.
There is a dedicated section on stretching within the members area of the site, designed to help prevent injury, in order for players to be able to train and play all season.