© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

ACC forks out $78m for rugby injuries

young kid rugby
$78 million for rugby injuries   Flickr

Just under 70% of claims are made by people aged between 10 and 24.

Information obtained from ACC shows a $1.5 million increase from 2015 to 2016 for compensation costs for those injured in rugby games, despite a decrease in claims.

The bulk of claims come from about 20,000 players aged between 15 to 19 years old.

Just under 49,000 claims related to soft-tissue injuries, and only 6% of all injuries were deemed serious.

ACC Senior Injury Prevention Specialist John Lammas said one reason for the increase was medical treatments becoming more expensive.

"The numbers don't really tell the story, the costs of injuries have risen each year partly because of increased numbers playing rugby, but also partly because the medical costs are increasing year on year," he said.

Lammas said ACC did not want people to spend time away from the field, and were trying to keep up with the rapid changes in the sport.

The 15 to 19-year-old age group are the largest group of people playing rugby.

Lammas said to avoid future injuries, younger players needed to be educated in techniques.

"We're really keen to up-skill the players themselves, particularly when they're developing and learning in that teenage age group, to look after themselves, prepare well and look after their mates," he said.

He said the strategy was a change to their usual education plans, which were usually only given to referees and coaches.