Safety and Risk Management

EPRU Clinic

This section is about safety. It is about how to lessen the chances of players getting injured. The material addresses the ways to manage the risks of playing rugby.

Since 1995, the EPRU has been pro-active in making rugby a safer sport with its publication of "Safety Precaution Recommendations". In 1998, a more comprehensive safety publication EPRU Making Rugby Safer (PDF) was issued. This document was well-received by the rugby community nationwide and is used by many Unions as "their" safety document. In continuing its pro-active approach to rugby safety, the EPRU has issued its "Safer Rugby Program" and feels its 7-step approach to rugby safety will help to make the rugby experience even better for all involved. Please start using it today.

In recent years, safety has received more focus by both National and International Rugby governing bodies as seen by the wealth of information found at USA Rugby's website ( ) as well as the IRB ( USA Rugby has partnered with the National Center for Sports Safety ( to provide its sports safety course "PREPARE" which is now part of the Coaching Certification Program. PREPARE can also be taken directly online at the NCSS website. The IRB has produced its "Rugby Ready Program" ( and can be taken online. Both of which are part of the EPRU's "Safer Rugby Program".

Former EPRU Safety Director, John O'Donnell, prepared a series of newsletters on safety, the EPRU Safer Rugby News. This newsletter is dedicated to providing our membership with tips, guidance, information, etc. that teams can easily use to better their safety preparation for their players.

Explore the latest and past issues of EPRU Safer Rugby News.

Every EPRU club is expected to have an Emergency Action Plan in place before the start of their season. Use this EAP Template as a tool to create your own as well as Safer Rugby News, Vol. I, Issues 2, 3 and 4.

Comments and suggestions for the improvement of this program are both welcome and encouraged and should be sent to the EPRU President at presidentatepru [dot] org.

Sports Risk Management: Avoiding Litigation

This section is also about another kind of safety - safety from legal entanglements for the coach and administration. The litigation explosion in America has not skipped the world of athletics. The EPRU's Risk Management officer is Dr. Richard Borkowski. Dr. Borkowski has prepared a series of articles which are a kind of defensive game plan to lower the chance of injury to players and litigation problems for coaches. That is a "win-win" situation. The key to good risk management is preparation, foreseeability and vigilance. Understanding and applying the simple safety strategies in this section is most important. It is your coaching duty.

Richard P. Borkowski, EdD, CAA, is a sport and recreation safety consultant based in Narberth, PA. He served as the Director of Physical Education and Athletics at the Episcopal Academy in Merion, Pennsylvania for 33 years. He founded and coached the rugby team at Episcopal Academy for over 20 years. He also served as the chairman of USA Rugby's Safety & Risk Management Committee and is currently a member of that committee. He offers seminars, does evaluations and writes on the subject of sport safety

His second book, titled "The School Sports Safety Handbook," published by LRP Publications in Horsham, Pennsylvania contains a Rugby Safety Checklist. His third book, "The Athletic Administrator's Scheduling Book," was published in March 2001. Dick can be reached via email at drborkatepru [dot] org.