Rugby Union

CAN SOMEONE WITH A PROTHESTIC LIMB(S) PLAY RUGBY?

It may be possible for someone with a prosthetic limb(s) to play rugby, depending on the type of prosthetic worn and the proficiency of its use.

Consideration needs to be given as to whether the prosthetic limb would be appropriate and safe for rugby, both for the individual and others playing around them. It is recommended that before participating in any rugby activity the player/ parent(s) consult their local prosthetic department to seek expert advice on whether it would be appropriate for the individual to play and whether the current prosthetic limb is suitable and safe. In some cases it may be possible to develop a prosthesis that meets the requirements and regulations.

Blades, for example, would not be acceptable, whereas a simulated limb with appropriate levels of protection may meet the requirements and there have been cases where prosthetic departments have been able to develop something that meets the requirements in World Rugby’s Regulation 12 and the individual has been able to participate in contact rugby.

World Rugby’s Law 4 and Regulation 12 covers “Provisions Relating to Players’ Dress” this includes the specification of any materials such as the depth of foam padding etc. which are allowable to reduce the risk of injury, these specifications set out in Regulation 12 also apply to the materials used in prosthetic limbs and will determine whether it can be worn while participating in rugby activity.

Touch rugby may be a suitable alternative for individuals where contact rugby has not been advised, however it is important that the appropriate specialist advice is taken before participating in any activity. Appropriate footwear and/or type of traction fitting of the prosthetic would also need to be considered.

If deemed safe and appropriate to play, the club/school should get written confirmation from the player’s prosthetic consultant/department stating that the limb is viable for playing rugby, and doesn’t pose an increased risk of injury to either the player or others.

RUGBYSAFE ESSENTIAL GUIDES & TEMPLATES