Hosted over three days and five sessions, the player welfare symposium brought together more than 1,000 members of the rugby family and independent experts to discuss the latest science, knowledge, research and technology and inform evidence-based strategies to reduce the risk of injury.
Across the six sessions, the main headlines included:
- World Rugby will examine the latest eye-tracking technology as a potential objective tool to identify and manage concussion, partnering with EyeGuide and NeuroFlex®
- World Rugby is partnering with New Zealand Rugby, the University of Otago and Prevent Biometrics to undertake the largest-ever study into the nature of head impacts in community rugby using instrumented mouthguards with the objective of advancing the sport’s injury-reduction strategies
- Launch of the Head Contact Process explainer video with Wayne Barnes, initially available in three languages
- World Rugby will assist the RFU and University of Birmingham to identify elite men’s and women’s competition saliva biomarker study opportunities
- Ongoing work with the University of Bath on a replacement study examining the impact of replacement players on injury rates, with approximately 75 per cent of more than 4,000 tackles analyzed across elite competitions
- The importance of tackle technique and rugby preparation in the prevention of head impact events in the women’s game, particularly when players begin playing in their later teens
- Latest update on Law 4 padded headgear trial operational to allow approved manufacturers to assess non-Regulation 12 compliant padded headgear for potential head injury reduction
- An update on the welfare-driven law trials currently being undertaken in the game, including the French community tackle height trial, which is delivering encouraging initial results.
- Newly appointed Chief Executive Alan Gilpin opened the symposium by outlining World Rugby’s commitment to fostering a safer and more accessible game for all
- More than 1.8 million players, coaches, medics, match officials and members of the public have completed World Rugby face-to-face and online education programmes