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The quantification of contacts with impact during professional rugby matches


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To gain a complete understanding of a player's total physiological stress exposure the measure of contact with impact in match situations must be addressed. The goal of this study was to quantify the contact stress players were exposed to in a rugby match. 7 Matches in a professional provincial rugby competition were analyzed to determine the frequency of the contact situations for each player. There were 386 (range 306 – 535) impact contacts per match. The forwards were involved in 68% impact contacts with 257 per match (range 199 – 389). The backline players were involved in 125 (range 93 - 148) impact contacts per match. The most frequently occurring impact contact for the whole team was contact with the ground, 108 impacts per match (range 70 – 133) followed by the scrum impact, 81 impacts per match (47 – 100). Lineout contact impacts were the least frequently observed with 2 per match (range 1 – 4). 80% of the impact contacts were recorded at a higher frequency when the team lost as opposed to when they won. These findings have the potential to influence how players are prepared for matches and managed over a season.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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