Tackling rugby

Sport Collision Injury Collective

Chief medical officers correspondence

Open letter to secretaries of state for health and for culture, media & sport, 07 February 2021

Open letter to UK CMOs 18 December 2020

SCIC letter to UK CMOs_10 January 2018

Letter from CMO Scotland 10 October 2017

SCIC open letter to UK CMOs 13 July 2017

SCIC questions to UK CMOs 13 July 2017

SCIC executive summary to UK CMOs 13 July 2017

UK CMOs letter 29 July 2016

SCIC chronology of events


Pollock AM, Kirkwood G. Written evidence to “Concussion in sport” parliamentary enquiry, March 2021. download

Kirkwood G, Hughes TC, Pollock AM. Results on sports-related injuries in children from NHS emergency care dataset Oxfordshire pilot: an ecological study. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. 2018. download

White AJ, Batten J, Kirkwood G, Anderson E, Pollock AM. ‘Pre-activity movement control exercise programme to prevent injuries in youth rugby’: some concerns. Br J Sports Med 2018.

Pollock AM, Kirkwood G. Tackle and scrum should be banned in school rugby. BMJ 2017

Pollock AM, White AJ, Kirkwood G. Evidence in support of the call to ban the tackle and harmful contact in school rugby: a response to World Rugby. Br J Sports Med 2017;51:1113-17. download

Piggin J, Pollock AM. World Rugby’s erroneous and misleading representation of Australian sports injury statistics. Br J Sports Med 2017;51:1108. download

Pollock AM, Kirkwood G. Sport Duty of Care Review: submission. London; 2016 May. download

Pollock AM, Kirkwood G. Removing contact from school rugby will not turn children into couch potatoes. Br J Sports Med. 2016 Apr 19;bjsports-2016-096220. download

Freitag A, Kirkwood G, Pollock AM. Rugby injury surveillance and prevention programmes: are they effective? BMJ. 2015;350:h1587. download

Kirkwood G, Parekh N, Ofori-Asenso R, Pollock AM. Concussion in youth rugby union and rugby league: a systematic review. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:506–10. download

Freitag A, Kirkwood G, Scharer S, Ofori-Asenso R, Pollock AM. Systematic review of rugby injuries in children and adolescents under 21 years. Br J Sports Med 2015;49:511–9. download

Pollock AM, Gorely T, Wheaton B, Wagg S, Grey M, Morrissey D, et al. Written submission to the House of Commons Health Committee Inquiry into the impact of physical activity and diet on health. 2014. download

Pollock AM. Tackling rugby: what every parent should know about injuries. London: Verso; 2014. 224 p.

Kirkwood G, Hughes TC, Pollock AM. Injury surveillance in Europe and the UK. BMJ. 2014 Sep 8;349:g5337. download

Parekh N, Hodges S, Pollock AM, et al. Communicating the risk of injury in schoolboy rugby: using Poisson probability as an alternative presentation of the epidemiology. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2012;46:611–3. download

Kirkwood G, Parekh N, Pollock AM. Preventing injury in children and adolescents. Trauma 2010;12:221–38. download

Nicol A, Pollock AM, Kirkwood G, et al. Rugby union injuries in Scottish schools. Journal of Public Health 2010;33:256–61. download

Kirkwood G, Pollock AM. Preventing childhood injury. BMJ 2008;336:1388–9. download

Pollock AM, Kirkwood G. Briefing for the Chief Medical Officer on child and adolescent injury surveillance in Scotland and sport. Edinburgh: : Centre for International Public Health Policy 2008. download


Pollock AM. Kids’ lives are on the line but rugby won’t listen. The Sunday Times 13 Dec 2020.

Pollock AM, Kirkwood G. Children account for almost half of all visits to A&E for sports injuries. The Conversation. 02 Nov 2018.

Wragg S. Sport injury: tackling life in a competitive society. Leeds Beckett University 18 Oct 2017

Pollock AM, Kirkwood G. Head injuries and concussion in rugby. Briefing to the Rugby Union All Party Parliamentary Group. 28 Nov 2016. download

Response by Martin Raftery, CEO of World Rugby, to World Rugby’s erroneous and misleading representation of Australian sports’ injury statistics

Press release – ban tackling in school rugby

Pollock AM. Remove the tackle from school rugby and put in place injury surveillance. Better Health For All. 08 Mar 2016.

Pollock AM. What schools don’t want you to know about rugby. The Spectator. 22 Nov 2014, updated 02 Mar 2016

Note on data on children’s rugby injuries

Open letter on preventing injury in school rugby 01 March 2016

Royal College of Emergency Medicine and Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents – Action on accidents to relieve pressure on A&E

Injury research influences UK sports strategy

Science Mixtape. The horror of rugby 31 Oct 2015

Pollock AM. Time to tackle brain injury in rugby at all levels. The Irish Times 06 Oct 2015

Pollock AM. Rugby is dangerous – and we’re not doing enough to protect children who play it. The Conversation. 01 Oct 2015

Pollock AM. The Guardian. World Rugby isn’t doing enough to protect young players from head injuries. The Guardian. 22 Sep 2015

Stokes K. Concussion in professional rugby: short and medium term clinical outcomes and subsequent injury risk. Conference of the Rugby World Science Network 15-16 Sep 2015.

Pollock AM. A dangerous game. Scottish Review Jun 2015.

The Scotsman. Concerns over lack of school rugby injury research. 23 Apr 2015

BBC. School rugby plan ‘too dangerous’. 22 Apr 2015

Boots WebMD. Injury concerns over more school rugby. 22 Apr 2015

BT.com. Kids rugby drive sparks injury fear. 22 Apr 2015

Burton Mail. Is rugby too dangerous for schools? 22 Apr 2015

Mail Online. Children ‘should be BANNED from playing rugby at school’: Researchers say one in EIGHT will suffer serious injury on the field. 22 Apr 2015

The Times. School rugby promotion ‘will lead to more injuries’. 22 Apr 2015

Western Morning News. Kids rugby drive prompts academics to warn of injury fears. 22 Apr 2015

Newstalk ZB. UK academic praises NZ’s focus on injury prevention. 22 Apr 2015

The Telegraph. School rugby harms children and should not be promoted, says prof. 21 Apr 2015

BMJ Editor’s Choice. NHS is not (yet) in crisis, but what about school rugby? 09 Jan 2015

The Scotsman: Expert warns of child injuries playing rugby 21 Dec 2014

The Spectator: What schools don’t want you to know about rugby. 22 Nov 2014

Radio New Zealand. Is rugby getting too dangerous for children? 20 Oct 14

STV. News. Book ignites fresh debate over the safety of sport in schools 30 Sep 14

Pollock AM. We have to tackle child injury on the sports field. Herald. 2008.

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