Injury prevention

Document Type



Approximately 25% of Rugby Union injuries occur to players executing a tackle and they mostly involve upper-body regions. We designed novel tackle simulator to investigate upper-body loading under different tackling conditions: direction of approach and side of body used. Dominant shoulder tackles in the frontal direction generated the highest impact forces, 5.3 ± 1.0 kN (15% higher than non-dominant) and the lowest range of neck flexion (20% lower than non-dominant) at impact. Impact load decreased going from frontal to diagonal (-3%) and lateral tackling (-10%). The lowest peak head acceleration and angular velocity resulted from diagonal tackles with the dominant shoulder. For injury prevention, the tackler should approach from an offset angle from frontal and coaching should aim to reduce the deficiencies in tackling technique on the non-dominant side.