RugbySmart: Challenges and Lessons from the Implementation of a Nationwide Sports Injury Prevention Partnership Programme

  • Kenneth QuarrieEmail author
  • Simon Gianotti
  • Ian Murphy
  • Peter Harold
  • Danielle Salmon
  • Joseph Harawira
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Rugby Health


In New Zealand, rugby is the cause of the greatest number and cost of sports injuries for people aged 5–40 years. Since 2000, New Zealand Rugby and the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have partnered to develop and deliver a nationwide rugby-specific injury prevention programme, ‘RugbySmart’, which is a platform for the delivery of injury prevention messages. RugbySmart has focussed on primary and secondary prevention—preventing injuries from occurring, and minimising the severity of those injuries that do occur [1].

Programme Structure, Elements and Process

RugbySmart draws upon published risk management principles as they apply to sports [ 2, 3]. The similarity of the process for the development and delivery of programme content for RugbySmart (Fig.  1) with the ‘sequence of prevention’ [ 4, 5, 6] (also called the ‘public health approach’ [ 7] to injury prevention) is no coincidence. Although complex causal paths for sports injuries mean that predicting injuries on...



The contribution of Don Tricker to the section on lessons and recommendations (Sect. 6) is gratefully recognised. The authors acknowledge the work of Charles Fone in proofreading the final version of the article.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Ken Quarrie, Ian Murphy, Peter Harold, Danielle Salmon and Joe Harawira were employed by New Zealand Rugby throughout the period of the preparation of this article. Their salaries were not contingent upon their roles in preparing the article. Simon Gianotti was employed by ACC throughout the period of the preparation of this article. His salary was not contingent upon his role in preparing the article.


No financial support was received for the preparation of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New Zealand RugbyWellingtonNew Zealand
  2. 2.ACCWellingtonNew Zealand

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