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What to Know About Injuries and Replacements in Rugby Matches

Rugby is a game with a lot of injuries.  Players need to be in excellent physical condition to last the duration of a match or a season. 

 

In fact, many players don’t make it through a season at all.  When minor players need to be replaced, it often isn’t a big deal.  But when key players need to be replaced, it can devastate the performance of the entire team.  Depending on how bad the injury is and how long the replacement lasts, that could result in a few lost matches or a lost season.

The League allows for a maximum of four replacements and 10 interchanges.  The Union allows for eight replacements.  You can bet they are going to be used.  Late season games thus may be played with very different lineups than early season games. 

 

This means that you should always pay close attention to the bench lineup for a given team.  Early in the season, it may seem like no big deal if a team has a strong lineup on the pitch and a weak lineup on the bench, but later in the season, it will matter a lot.  In fact, it could make all the difference in the world.

 

Think about it.  You could have two teams starting out at the beginning of a season which both have strong starting lineups.  One may have a strong bench and the other might have a weak bench.  At the beginning, both teams may compete, but later on as replacements need to be called, the situation may change entirely. Suddenly, one of those teams is faring significantly better than the other, which has lost its edge.

 

You can even imagine situations where you might have two teams that are closely matched, but one of them is slightly weaker at the start of the season.  But that team has a stronger bench.  So later in the season when both teams are weakened, the team with the stronger bench may actually be able to subdue the team with the weaker bench.

 

This makes a big difference between rugby and a lot of other sports where bench players quite literally spend most of their time on the bench all season.  Bench players are important in any sport, but in rugby they are essential.  This is especially true with long seasons and bad weather (read here more about the impact of weather in rugby matches).  Downpours in particular tend to result in high injury rates.  So if you have a team struggling through a wet season, you can bet that their bench is going to be extra-important.

 

So when betting on rugby, be sure to learn everything you can about all players on a team - including those who are sitting out the initial games. This is especially vital if you are placing a futures bet - a wager on the outcome of an entire tournament or any other type of bet on rugby.  Just because a team is scoring well at the start of a season doesn’t mean they will be performing at the same level at the end of the season!

 

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