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Injury as an occupational hazard in professional rugby union: A qualitative analysis of interviews with ex-professional rugby players

Daly, Ed, Pearce, Alan, BLACKETT, Alexander and Ryan, Lisa (2022) Injury as an occupational hazard in professional rugby union: A qualitative analysis of interviews with ex-professional rugby players. The Journal of Sport and Exercise Science. ISSN 2703-240X

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Abstract or description

The focus of this study was to interview retired professional rugby union players (≤10 years since retirement) to discuss their careers in the game of rugby union. These interviews explored their experiences of being a professional rugby player, with respect to physical injury, concussion incidence and concussion management. In addition, the aims were to ascertain how retired rugby players retrospectively viewed physical injury, concussion incidences in their careers, and the effects that professional rugby had on their physical and mental health while playing and in retirement. Twenty-three retired ex-professional rugby players were interviewed, 61% had represented their countries at full international test level rugby. Two major themes were identified, 1) the realities of being a professional rugby player, 2) concussion and physical injury as an occupational hazard in the professional game. These were further divided into categories and subcategories. The interviews highlighted that players saw themselves as commodities and were motivated by many factors, including financial reward. Players openly stated that they accepted injury and concussion incidences as an occupational hazard of professional rugby. Many of the players admitted to having both undiagnosed and undisclosed concussions. Changing the perception of how concussion is disclosed and using this to influence future generations may be a practical means to guide athlete and coach education in collision sports.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Concussion; Professional rugby union; Brain injury; Long term brain health; Sub concussive impacts
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Alexander BLACKETT
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2022 15:17
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 14:03
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