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30 August 2005

Protecting the rugby player

Rugby is a highly physical contact sport that can result in serious injury. Wearing protective gear can help reduce your chances of injury.

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Playing rugby at any level can be a dangerous endeavour. That is why many players choose to play wearing protective gear. Taking these precautions will help prevent common injuries to the head and shoulders, especially concussions and collar bone breakages.

Scrum cap
A scrum cap must adhere to IRB regulation standards in size, construction and material. A scrum cap is usually made out of high-impact foam, and specifically moulded to fit the varying contours of the head.
Some scrum caps will come with ear piece features designed to protect the ear, but not hamper hearing. In some cases, the headgear comes treated with an anti-bacterial agent that fights bacteria and odour build up.

Scrum headband
This piece of equipment usually features as a light weight replacement for a scrumcap, and is designed to protect the ears during scrummages. It also provides warmth to the head. This piece of equipment is usually made out of aeroprene, a soft and comfortable material that naturally allows the dispersion of excess heat and sweat, helping to keep your head dryer and warmer.

Shoulder pads
Shoulder pads are designed to protect the shoulder and collar bones of the wearer. They fit tightly so as to provide maximum protection to these areas by means of high-impact materials. These materials are usually designed to accommodate for heat and perspiration issues, keeping a player cool in the heat, and warm in the cold.

Two piece shoulder pads
This piece of equipment has been specifically designed to protect both the shoulders, and the stomach region. The padding is usually designed from high impact foam, and arranged into protective cells for maximum impact absorption.

Contact suit
This innovation in sports protection has changed the way professional rugby teams practice. It allows for players to raise their aggression levels during practices, with minimal injuries to their fellow team-mates. This suit allows coaches to replace awkward tackling bags with human beings, making tackling practice more realistic and efficient.

Protective gloves
Gloves have seen more and more play in rugby over the past five years. As well as providing warmth to the hands, the sticky rubber insides of these gloves give added grip and control.

Thigh guard sleeve
This protective sleeve has been designed to replace awkward and painful tape straps often used by lineout players. This piece of equipment helps give the lifter maximum grip in all weather conditions, while providing the jumper with a less painful lift. The elasticity of the sleeve means that its two sizes will fit any player perfectly.

(Warren Vonk, Health24.com, August 2005)

 
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