Head injuries range from superficial facial and scalp lacerations, and broken noses to severe concussions. Some researchers have reported that they account for over 20% of all Rugby Union injuries.
Rugby headgear is typically a soft helmet that covers the forehead, skull and ears. In Japan these items are compulsory during Rugby Union. Research has shown that headgear is effective in reducing the incidence of superficial head injuries, such as lacerations.
All head injuries should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible. Lacerations and broken noses can be dealt with by doctors in the emergency department. International Rugby Board (IRB) Rules state that “a player who has suffered concussion shall not participate in any match or training session for a minimum period of three weeks from the time of injury, and may then only do so when symptom free and declared fit after a proper medical examination.”