World Rugby to limit full contact training per week to 15 minutes

The decision was based on research that showed 35-40% injury occurred in training
The decision was based on research that showed 35-40% injury occurred in training

World Rugby has suggested that elite players' contact training to be limited to 15 minutes per week as they aim to improve player welfare.

The decision follows after research showed nearly 40% of injuries occurred in training. The governing body in a statement said that there was a consolation with nearly 600 players from 18 elite competitions around the world.

According to the recommendations, the maximum of 15 minutes of contact training will be spread across a maximum of two days, not including Monday and Friday.

It has also been suggested that controlled contact training sessions be limited to 40 minutes per week with at least one day of zero contact of any type while live set-piece training will be limited to 30 minutes per week.

"A more measured and consistent approach to training will help manage the contact load for players, especially those moving between club and national training environments," the document read.

"The research supports minimising contact load in training, in order that players can be prepared to perform but avoid an elevated injury risk at the same time. The guidelines aim to help strike that balance."

Meanwhile, former Ireland head coach and World Rugby director of rugby and high performance Joe Schmidt believes the new guidelines will have a positive impact on player welfare.

“Training has increasingly played an important role in injury-prevention as well as performance.

“While there is a lot less full contact training than many people might imagine, it is our hope that having a central set of guidelines will further inform players and coaches of key considerations for any contact that is done during training.

“These new guidelines, developed by leading experts and supported by the game, are by necessity a work in progress and will be monitored and further researched to understand the positive impact on player welfare. We are encouraged by the response that we have received so far.”


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