Edinburgh Research Explorer

Comparative cervical profiles of adult and under-18 front-row rugby players: implications for playing policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Open Access permissions

Open

Documents

  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Rights statement: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

    Final published version, 928 KB, PDF-document

    Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution Non-Commercial (CC-BY-NC)

http://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/4/5/e004975
Original languageEnglish
Article number004975
Number of pages7
JournalBMJ Open
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 May 2014

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To compare the cervical isometric strength, fatigue endurance and range of motion of adult and under-18 age-grade front-row rugby players to inform the development of a safe age group policy with particular reference to scrummaging.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional cohort study.

SETTING: 'Field testing' at Murrayfield stadium.

PARTICIPANTS: 30 high-performance under-18 players and 22 adult front-row rugby players.

OUTCOME MEASURES: Isometric neck strength, height, weight and grip strength.

RESULTS: Youth players demonstrated the same height and grip strength as the adult players; however, the adults were significantly heavier and demonstrated substantially greater isometric strength (p<0.001). Only two of the 'elite' younger players could match the adult mean cervical isometric strength value. In contrast to school age players in general, grip strength was poorly associated with neck strength (r=0.2) in front-row players; instead, player weight (r=0.4) and the number of years' experience of playing in the front row (r=0.5) were the only relevant factors in multivariate modelling of cervical strength (R(2)=0.3).

CONCLUSIONS: Extreme forces are generated between opposing front rows in the scrum and avoidance of mismatch is important if the risk of injury is to be minimised. Although elite youth front-row rugby players demonstrate the same peripheral strength as their adult counterparts on grip testing, the adults demonstrate significantly greater cervical strength. If older youths and adults are to play together, such findings have to be noted in the development of age group policies with particular reference to the scrum.

    Research areas

  • FALSE DISCOVERY RATE, MATCH INJURIES, UNION PLAYERS, SPINAL-CORD, EPIDEMIOLOGY, STRENGTH

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 15230911