Rugby Vs. Football: Which Sport Carries The Greater Amount Of Risk?

When it comes to team sports, two of the most physically demanding and punishing must be football and rugby. Even though both sports have implemented rules that made them safer to play over the years, both still have inherent risks.

Degrees of riskiness is relative, of course, but when the debate turns to which sport is the safer of the two, football usually wins since players use more padding, while rugby players use none besides a mouthpiece. Anyone who has been injured while participating in either sport should find a personal injury lawyer for help. This article should provide the facts on which sport is safer.


Rugby aficionados like to call their sport an “organized brawl,” pointing out that even at the famous Rugby School in London, where the game was started, a plaque quotes [founder] William Webb as saying, “in a calloused disregard for the rules, of football [soccer] as played in his time, picked up the ball and ran with it.” Rugby has been considered a virtual blood sport since.

Adding to this mystique is the lack of padding or headgear protecting players, which gives way to a lot of criticism about safety. Since there is no protection besides a small mouthpiece, players are very susceptible to abrasions, cuts, lacerations, bleeding, and other injuries. Injuries occurring during a game are a common occurrence. Although these injuries are not often severe, players are subbed until the damage is treated.

When rugby injuries are more serious, they usually center on those of the head and neck since no helmets are used. When players collide head to head, however, injuries can be severe. Fortunately, there are strict rules about these areas that tend to limit the dangers of these kinds of contact. Rugby also prohibits tackles above the shoulders, which helps to minimize the chances of shoulder contact and headfirst contact between players.


Safety in the game of football has improved significantly, thanks to redesigns of equipment. This is particularly true of equipment designed to prevent injuries to the head and neck, considering recent reports about concussions and traumatic brain injuries resulting from the game. Players wearing pads have certainly caused a significant reduction in the number of serious injuries, but cuts, abrasions, and other injuries continue to happen. Part of this is because, although helmets, shoulder pads, and other equipment are designed to help prevent injuries, many players often use their shoulders and heads as weapons while playing

What Does Evidence Tell Us?

In a 2018 study published by Complete Concussion Management, it was reported that of all sports, men’s rugby was responsible for the highest percentage of concussions for people over age 18, which occurred at 3.0 per 1,000 players per game. It is also worthy of note that, in players younger than age 18, rugby was still rated number one for injuries (4.18) compared to football, which was third (0.53). This study was conducted in 2016 by doctors Richard Quincy Nienke W. Willegenburg, James R. Borcher, of Ohio State University. More specifically, this study showed that rugby players at the collegiate level were injured at 4.9 of every 1,000 players each game.


Based on the evidence presented, it can be surmised that rugby is a more dangerous sport than football in terms of injuries and that a player is much more likely to become injured from playing the sport than football. In terms of severity of injuries, it has been shown that football is a more dangerous sport, given that it is played at a greater speed and with less control. As a result, players of both sports are at a significant risk of injuries compared with other sports.


Reply your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.