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ACC is increasing its investment in the RugbySmart programme to $7 million over the next four years with the aim of reducing injuries in our national sport, says ACC Minister Michael Woodhouse.

“An investment by ACC of $7 million over the next four years will enable a significant expansion of the RugbySmart programme and will focus on improving players’ preparation for our national sport and reducing injuries,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“Rugby is changing. Players are now bigger, fitter and faster, so it’s important that our injury prevention initiative keeps pace with the modern game.”

RugbySmart will be expanded to focus on direct engagement with players, referees and coaches with six specific modules being developed by New Zealand Rugby. These modules include the education of players, coaches, referees and health care providers on injury prevention and treatment, especially around the contact areas of rugby, and the identification and treatment of concussion.

“The expansion and increased investment will enable ACC and New Zealand Rugby to ensure players, parents, health providers and others on the side-lines are better equipped to help avoid injuries in the first place and improve the way injuries are managed,” says Mr Woodhouse.

 “As both a rugby player and referee, I have seen up close how important it is for everyone involved in the game to know how to warm-up properly and use appropriate techniques in situations such as scrums to prevent injury.”

RugbySmart, an injury prevention partnership between ACC and New Zealand Rugby, was first introduced in 2011 and is one of several targeted programmes by ACC to prevent sports-related injuries.

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