Research Output

The influence of training volume on training and match injury risk in elite Scottish rugby union players

  BACKGROUND
Training volume has been shown to influence injury risk in elite Rugby Union players.
OBJECTIVE
To investigate the influence of training volume on injury risk in elite Scottish Rugby Union
players.
DESIGN
A prospective, observational cohort study design was adopted to collect training volume
(hours) and injury data (training and match time-loss injuries combined).
SETTING
Data were collected from Scottish Rugby Union’s professional (Men’s 15-a-side) teams (Men’s
International Squad; Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby).
PATIENTS (OR PARTICIPANTS)
Data were collected from 163 professional Rugby Union players over the 2017/18 and 2018/19
seasons.
INTERVENTIONS (OR ASSESSMENT OF RISK FACTORS)
Gym & pitch-based training data were collected via team logs & Global Positioning System
devices. Injury data were collected from the medical personnel associated with each team.
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MAIN OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS
Derived workload measures were calculated. These included: the exponentially-weighted
moving average acute: chronic workload ratio (ACWR); week-to-week change in volume, and
1- 2-, 3- and 4-week cumulative volumes. Workload measures were modelled against
subsequent week injury using binary logistic regression analysis. Odds ratios (OR) were
reported against a reference (‘Very-low’ workload) group.
RESULTS
Players spent a total of 58,044 hours training, and sustained 734 time-loss injuries. Compared
to the reference category (<0.50), an 'Intermediate-low' ACWR (0.75-1.00) had the lowest
injury risk (OR=0.46). Contrary, an 'Intermediate-high' (1.00-1.25), 'High' (1.25-1.50) and
'Very-high' (>1.50) ACWR significantly increased injury risk (OR=4.85, 13.36 and 15.70,
p<0.001, respectively). Injury risk was significantly increased for 'Intermediate-low' training
volumes over 1-3 week cumulative periods, and ‘Intermediate-high' volumes over 2-4 week
cumulative periods. 'Very-high' volumes increased injury risk over 1-3 week cumulative
periods. 'High' training volumes over 1-4 weeks and weekly change in volume were not
associated with injury (p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS
Increases in acute training volume beyond a player’s current chronic status may increase injury
risk. Minimising spikes in volume, whilst gradually acquiring high training volumes may be
more protective against injury than intermediate and very high volumes.

  • Type:

    Poster

  • Date:

    25 November 2021

  • Publication Status:

    Unpublished

  • Funders:

    SRU Scottish Rugby Union

Citation

Paul, C., Campbell, T., Yule, S., Walsh, J., Martindale, R., & Palmer, D. (2021, November). The influence of training volume on training and match injury risk in elite Scottish rugby union players. Poster presented at IOC World Conference on Prevention of Injury & Illness in Sport, Monaco

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