Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie has questioned the logic behind World Rugby’s new guidelines which suggests a limit of 15 minutes of full contact training per week.
World Rugby has released new guidelines which calls for rugby teams at all levels to limit full contact training to 15 minutes per week, controlled contact to 40 minutes and live set-piece training to 30 minutes.
The guidelines have been created off the back of feedback from 600 players across 18 elite competitions, while clubs such as Leinster, Clermont Auvergne and Benetton will also take part in a study to measure head impact events.
Australia coach Rennie was speaking to The Guardian about the new guidelines and questioned the practicality of following such measures.
Dave Rennie on the suggested contact training limit.
“Who’s timing it? I’m sure there’s a lot of work going into coming up with these numbers but I’m not certain how that will pan out. Thirty-five to 40 per cent of injuries happen at training, which means 60 to 65 happen at games,” Rennie said.
“And you have to make sure from a training point of view you’re getting the conditioning and contact load into them so that that they can deal with it on game day and have the technique required.
“There’s focus around reducing injuries but the most important thing is ensuring our athletes have the skills and knowledge to deal with the contact.”
World Rugby and @IntRugbyPlayers launch new contact training load guidance aimed at reducing injury risk
– training up to 95% of total player activity
– training accounts for up to 40% of injuries
– many training injuries ‘controllable’https://t.co/KahjckKG1N
— World Rugby Media (@worldrugbymedia) September 22, 2021
World Rugby’s recent efforts to make the game safer.
The new guidelines are only a suggestion to teams that may not be aware of how much full contact training is appropriate and is not a mandatory rule that must be followed.
The suggested limit on contact training is the latest measure taken by the sport’s administrators to make the game safer, after recent worrying reports on the effects rugby can have on the brain.
World Rugby has significantly ramped up efforts to prevent concussions over the last 10 years or so, with mandatory Head Injury Assessments (HIA) for players suspected of suffering a concussion perhaps the most prominent.
Head height tackles have also been penalised far more harshly in recent years, as shoulder to head contact often results in a red card.
This has made red cards far more common in the sport, which has led to a new rule being trialled which states that a red carded player may be replaced after 20 minutes.