In just over six weeks the world’s top Rugby League players will be coming to the UK and France to take part in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup – but how many of them will come back in one piece?
Research conducted by Warrington Wolves’ Head of Strength and Conditioning, Chris Baron, has found that the impact of the tackles that are made during a Rugby League match are the equivalent to a car crashing at 50 miles per hour!
“We have undertaken a full research programme to ascertain the impact of the collision in the sport and utilising that data it has enabled us to form the basis of our strength and conditioning programme”, explained Baron.
“The data has brought up some amazing results. We found that some tackles were measuring in at 14 G-force, which is equivalent to being hit by a car at 50 miles per hour. If the players can’t handle this then they will get injured.
“Our primary focus is to get the players conditioned to take contact rather than running around the field. The objective is making sure the players are more physical and powerful than their opponent.”
So, what happens when a burly Rugby League player comes hurtling toward you? We thought we’d ask the experts. Below is the Rugby League World Cup 2013 organisers’ top five Rugby League injuries:
5. Murphy – Catalan Dragons winger Justin Murphy had a lucky escape when he crashed into concrete steps after he had chased a team-mate’s kick. The Australian flew head over heels and was drilled head first into the stand, but brushed himself down and joined his team-mates in the defensive line within seconds.
4. Wilkin – Jon Wilkin’s nose was badly fractured when he collided with an opponent during the 2006 Challenge Cup Final against Huddersfield. The St Helens star played on and even the heavy facial strapping couldn’t hide his delight when he collected his winners medal afterwards.
3. Morley – After making a name for himself in the NRL, Adrian Morley suffered a fractured eye socket just seconds into his return debut in Super League when he attempted a ‘big hit’ on Wigan youngster Eamon O’Carroll.
2. Walker – Hull KR centre Chev Walker’s shin bone jutted out from his leg following Keith Senior’s heavy challenge in a game against Leeds, but Walker still had the strength to sit up and acknowledge the fans who applauded him as he was stretchered from the field
1. Wood – Warrington star Paul Wood suffered an eye-watering injury during his side’s defeat to Leeds in the 2012 Super League Grand Final. Following a collision in the tackle, Wood played on for 30 minutes with a ruptured testicle before having it removed by surgeons immediately after the match.