Full contact at training could be limited to just 15 minutes across the rugby world







Injury concerns around world rugby have moved officials to make a massive call around just how much contact is allowed at training at all levels of the game.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie isn’t convinced caps on full contact training could be policed and may even be detrimental to players being able to handle the physicality of games.

Full contact training could be limited to just 15 minutes a week across the rugby world after research released by World Rugby showed up to 40 per cent of injuries occurred during training.

In new guidelines released overnight, World Rugby confirmed several professional teams in England had signed up to a trial which limits full contact training to 15 minutes, controlled contact to 40 minutes and live set piece training to 30 minutes.

While the recommended contact training limits for the professional game are not yet mandatory, if the trial is successful, World Rugby may require each nation to satisfy them if they are to take part in the 2023 World Cup.

The changes come after global consultation, including feedback from almost 600 players across elite men’s and women’s competitions, and input from leading strength and conditioning, medical and performance experts.

The new guidelines have the support of national players’ associations, national unions, international and domestic competitions, top coaches and clubs.

While injuries are often unavoidable in games, training environments are considered “highly controllable” so the guidelines have been developed to reduce injury risk and cumulative contact load to the lowest possible levels without impacting match preparation.

But Rennie, who said the Wallabies did roughly eight minutes of contact work on Tuesday this week, argued the effect could be players losing their capacity to handle 80 minutes of contact in a game.

“Who‘s timing it? I’m sure there’s a lot of work going into coming up with these numbers, but I’m not certain how that will pan out,” he said ahead of Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash with Argentina.

“Thirty-five to 40 per cent of injuries happen at training, which means 60 to 65 happen at games.

“And you have to make sure from a training point of view you‘re getting the conditioning and contact load into them so that that they can deal with it on game day and have the technique required.

“There‘s focus around reducing injuries but the most important thing is ensuring our athletes have the skills and knowledge to deal with the contact.”

World Rugby’s director of rugby and high performance, former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, said the guidelines could “inform players and coaches of key considerations for any contact that is done during training”.

“These new guidelines, developed by leading experts and supported by the game, are by necessity a work in progress and will be monitored and further researched to understand the positive impact on player welfare. We are encouraged by the response that we have received so far,” he said.

“We recognise that community-level rugby can be an almost entirely different sport in terms of fitness levels, resources and how players can be expected to train, but the guidelines can be applied at many levels, especially the planning, purpose and monitoring of any contact in training.”

Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster, who was involved in advising the development of the guidelines, said everyone had a “responsibility to make the game is as safe as possible for all our players”.

“For coaches, optimising training plays a significant role in achieving that objective. It is important that we do not overdo contact load across the week in order that players are fresh, injury-free and ready for match days,” he said

“These guidelines provide a practical and impactful approach to this central area of player preparation and management.”


Share this


Tammy Hembrow shows off her ‘unreal’ six pack transformation

Tammy Hembrow is known for her trademark booty, but she’s left her followers floored after showing off her sculpted abs.She’s Australia’s biggest fitness...

NRL news 2021: Manly Sea Eagles police escort, Manly vs South Sydney preliminary final

Manly needed a police escort to get to its preliminary final and several NRL legends believe doesn’t bode well for the Sea Eagles.Manly...

Xplore wins $2M Pentagon contract f to speed up work on Xcraft

Redmond, Wash.-based Xplore says it has received...

Recent articles

More like this


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here