Rugby: ASBH physical trainers and physiotherapists play the prevention card

In order to prevent injuries, the players are monitored and different work protocols are put in place by the staff to prevent them from getting injured.

Stronger, faster. The rugby players have become, today, real war machines of the meadows. Their size increases over the years. Above all, they develop phenomenal power. Gone are the days of “mammoth” pillars walking from heap to heap. The big ones are now able to go very fast. And when it comes to stopping these buses, running at full speed, it can sometimes hurt. Very bad.

Everybody on the bridge

Like every Thursday morning, at the Raoul-Barrière stadium, where Rouen lands, this Friday, during home games, the players are preparing for a final set-up. Florent Jaulin, the team’s physiotherapist, is on the go. He straps some players and en masse others. Jamie Hagan, the solid right pillar of the ASBH, is in his hands. The jokes flow. Not far away, in the weight room, Alexis Mudarra, the head of physical preparation, is also on deck.

Two types of injuries

If one builds muscles and the other heals them, the two men work together. Their but being to ensure that there are as few injured players as possible. Knowing that there are two types of injuries. With, first of all, those that cannot be caused: direct trauma. These are bruises or sprains due to involuntary twisting: “We can do all the physical preparations in the world, it won’t change anything, raises Alexis Mudarra with a smile. Rugby being a contact, combat sport, it is impossible to avoid this type of trauma. When on a key, against Colomiers, hooker Wilmar Arnorldi injured his ankle, it was because an opponent fell on him.

Multiple factors

When there is an injury, physical trainers and physiotherapists meet to take stock: “We are investigating to see if the injury could have been interrupted, notes Alexis Mudarra. And often, the factors are multiple. Was the player tired? If so, were there any signs that we underestimated? Are there antecedents? We are looking at everything that can allow us to understand why the player got injured.”

Recurring Blessings

Florent Jaulin noticed, this season, that injuries are a little more recurrent. It performs statistics during each block of matches and identifies the most recurring ailments: “We are asking players for a higher volume of play this year, regenerate the physio. So there are more courses. We have thus noted more muscle lesions and tendinopathies. It’s a bit of our pet peeve this season!”

Adapt to synthetic pitch

The players also had to adapt to the new synthetic pitch, where the support is not the same as on natural grass. For the rest, however, the physical trainers and physiotherapists want to be reassuring: “We expect fewer injuries over the winter period, foresee Florent Jaulin. The preparation was built like this.”

Prevention work

The physical trainers must also manage the state of form and the age of the players. A young person recovers better than an old one who will not take on the same workloads. Without omitting all prevention work: “You have to look at the player’s injury history, explains Alexis Mudarra. He carries out, for example, personal reinforcement work, managed by physiotherapists. This work is integrated into the schedule of bodybuilding sessions. This can be, for example, strengthening the neck.

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