Emergency planning

An essential step towards becoming Rugby Ready is planning for emergencies. This means having the correct medical equipment in place and ensuring that appropriately trained personnel (i.e., medical practitioner, other healthcare professional or trained first-aider) are present.

Please visit https://passport.world.rugby/player-welfare/first-aid-in-rugby/ for the World Rugby First Aid in Rugby online course.

Example medical equipment

Only equipment that those responsible for first aid cover have been trained to use should be made available.

  • Stretcher - additionally, a spinal board and/or ‘scoop’ stretcher with head blocks and straps, if trained in their use.
  • Collars - various sizes or adjustable, if trained in their use.
  • Limb splints - various types are available but simple padded ‘box’ splints are appropriate.
  • Basic first aid kit which typically includes:
    - scissors (blunt ended)
    - non-sterile medical gloves (consider the type of latex, as allergy can be an issue)
    - gauze swabs
    - compression bandages (5cm, 7.5cm, 10cm)
    - sterile gauze bandages
    - adhesive skin closures, (e.g. Band Aid)
    - elastic adhesive bandages (2.5cm, 5cm)
    - petroleum jelly
    - irrigation solution (sterile eyewash)
    - wound dressings (e.g. Melolin)
    - triangular bandages
    - ice pack and ice
    - zinc oxide adhesive tape
    - emergency foil blanket
    - plastic bag for contaminated dressings/gloves
  • An automatic emergency defibrillator (AED) may be appropriate depending on the circumstances. These are expensive items and it is highly recommended that individuals are trained in their use. Considerations to be made include the likely frequency of use and the availability/response times of emergency services. Having sufficient appropriately trained and equipped first aiders should be the first priority.

All these items should be located in the Technical Zone.

First aid room

A Rugby Ready first aid room should be available and should have:

  • access for a stretcher
  • access for an ambulance
  • wall linings and worktops which can be easily cleaned, to comply with hygiene and infection control requirements
  • floors which are non-slip, impervious and washable
  • a sink with hot and cold running water
  • adequate lighting and heating
  • an examination couch with waterproof protection
  • appropriate safe storage for medical equipment and first aid materials
  • adequate arrangements for the disposal of clinical waste and sharps, e.g., needles
  • access to a telephone
  • a record book for recording incidents where first aid has been given
  • emergency telephone numbers clearly displayed

More detail on developing an emergency plan is available for download at: https://passport.world.rugby/injury-prevention-and-risk-management/rugby-ready/downloads/ 


Spinal board


Air splints for immobilising a fracture

Emergency bag

Adjustable neck brace

If an emergency does occur

For information on what to do in an emergency, see the Injury Management section.



Rugby is a physical contact sport and there are inherent risks associated with participating in Rugby related activities. Accidents can happen and may happen to you. World Rugby (including its operating entity World Rugby Limited and other associated entities) does not accept any responsibility or liability in negligence or otherwise in relation to any injury, loss or damage suffered by persons seeking to replicate activities demonstrated in this Rugby Ready product or participating in Rugby related activities generally.