With the next tournament for Europe's international rugby teams less than a month away, the head coaches are beginning to name their training camp squads for the Guinness Six Nations.
Ireland are the keen favourites after a stellar 2018 for Irish rugby, and will be hoping to grab a second Grand Slam in a row.
England will be eager to better their fifth place finish in last year's tournament, but the RFU currently have their focus on the damning statistics recently surfacing regarding the England rugby team's injury troubles.
Eddie Jones has been known for his tough training sessions at the England training camps, but statistics show that players are five times more likely to get injured on international duty than with their respective clubs.
Bath rugby club owner Brian Craig first raised the issue after last year's camps saw Bath players such as Ben Obano, Zach Mercer and Sam Underhill pick up injuries when training under Jones, as Craig branded the heightened risk as "totally unacceptable".
The PRISP annual report (Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project ) has stated: “During the 2017-18 season, the mean incidence of England training injuries sustained during Rugby Skills was double that of the study period average.
"As a consequence, the burden of England training injuries during Rugby Skills (579 days absence per 1000 hrs) rose to more than five times the study mean (96 days absence per 1000 hrs).
"The average severity of 30 days was a substantial increase on the mean of the study period as a whole (19 days).”
Increased regulations have tried to decrease the severity of injuries sustained during matches, for example by decreasing the tackle height, with concussion accounting for 20% of all injuries in the top flight of English rugby, as well as the average severity of match injures, in time taken to return to full play, increasing to 37 days last season.
RFU medical services director Simon Kemp has said when commenting on the PRISP report: “You are three times more likely to get a yellow card for a deliberate knock on than a high tackle around the world.
"Concussion remains a priority for us all and we are now looking at concussion prevention with the trial of a reduced tackle height in the 2018/19 Championship Cup."
With collisions in the modern game getting harder, faster and stronger, it is clear that medics, officials, players and coaches need to work together to ensure safety in the sport.News Now - Sport News