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What counts as ‘the evidence’? A need for an urgent review of injury risk in school rugby

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journal contribution
posted on 09.01.2018, 11:14 authored by Joe PigginJoe Piggin, Alan BairnerAlan Bairner
In March 2016, an open letter called for the removal of tackling in school rugby union. In response, the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) of the UK consulted, gathered evidence and continued with the status quo – they endorsed tackling in school rugby. The CMOs stated that ‘the evidence does not support the conclusions and recommendations laid out in [the] open letter.’ The CMOs relied on a report from the UK Physical Activity Expert Group (PAEG) and a review article by Dr Ross Tucker and colleagues in the BJSM. We highlight 5 problems with the evidence that the CMOs used to make their decision stemming from a report to the CMOs by the Physical Activity Expert Group (PAEG).



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

British Journal of Sports Medicine


PIGGIN, J. and BAIRNER, A., 2018. What counts as ‘the evidence’? A need for an urgent review of injury risk in school rugby. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 53(1), pp 10-11.


© The Authors. Published by BMJ Publishing Group


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This paper was accepted for publication in the journal British Journal of Sports Medicine and the definitive published version is available at