Player Welfare

The HKCR Player Welfare Department is responsible for helping to provide an environment within our rugby community which nurtures both physical and mental wellbeing.

Player Welfare is anything which affects the physical or mental wellbeing of a player.

Mental Wellbeing means feeling good – both about yourself and the world around you and evidence suggests that there is a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing.

With this in mind HKCR aims to be pro-active and focus on preventive measures by raising awareness and facilitating education around this essential area of health at all age groups from minis through youth and tertiary to senior leagues and representative team players.


The HKCR Player Welfare and Medical (PW&M) team has created a new campaign, “SMARTRugby” to raise awareness in the community around key aspects of Player Welfare

Safe Guarding

Mental Health

Away From Injury

Return To Play

Team Spirit

Player Welfare

Safety in the Playing Environment

Rugby is a collision sport that requires a fit, trained and skilled participant in order to reduce the risk of injury. In addition, the playing environment needs to be suitable and hazard-free, with the correct supporting personnel at hand in order to minimise injury and enhance safety. This document aims to give practical guidelines to coaches and referees to allow play to take place in a safe environment.

HKCR Safe Playing Environment

Injury Prevention

As a Governing body, Hong Kong China Rugby, takes player welfare extremely seriously and regularly make improvements to enhance safety while striving to ensure that all players can access the best care if injuries do occur. We recognise the concern of parents about risks associated with sport and contact sport in particular however we believe, our players are safer now than ever.


Activate Injury Prevention Warm up

Activate is a worldwide Injury Prevention Exercise Programme released by World Rugby. The programme was developed using scientific evidence and expert opinion, whilst feedback from active coaches helped to ensure that the programme is suitable to use across community-level rugby settings.

At HKCR we use Activate for club, community and junior rugby (including NAG).



Concussion Guidance

Players suffering from concussion may not return to play until:

All their symptoms have cleared They have followed the Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) protocol They have been medically cleared to return

Concusion 6R's

Concussion ‘Recognise and Remove’

World Rugby Concussion Guidance

Concussion Guidance


Concussion Statement

HKCR places player welfare above all else in our game.

We are aware of the controversies regarding concussion in contact sports. As early as 2013 we set up a concussion working group comprising medical experts, coaches, referees and players.


Blue Card Concussion Protocol

Referee / Club Protocol
Blue Card Concussion Protocol


The Role of Safeguarding Officers in HKCR

It is the responsibility of all those involved with rugby in Hong Kong to provide a safe environment for children and young people to enjoy the game.

Hong Kong China Rugby Safeguarding Policy

Hong Kong China Rugby Safeguarding Declaration Form

Hong Kong China Rugby Athlete Safeguarding & Harassment Policy

HKCR Child Protection Referral Form

This form must be filled in as soon as possible after receiving information regarding and incident that may affect the welfare or protection of a child. 
Please send the completed form to HKCR Safeguarding Manager - [email protected]

Safeguarding Incident Referral Form

Tackle Height

Following consultation with community rugby stakeholders, and at the recommendation of World Rugby, from 1 September 2023, HKCR will be trialling a new below base of sternum lowered tackle height in the community game, to enhance the safety and wellbeing of our players. 

For more information on the new tackle height, instructions and images, please click HERE.

General enquiries: [email protected] 

  • In World Rugby endorsed trials conducted in France and South Africa, lowering the tackle height has been shown to reduce the number of head-on-head contacts and concussions. Lowering the tackle height has also shown positive outcomes regarding increased ball-in-play time and offloading. 

  • Research shows that by lowering the tackle height there will be a significant reduction in concussions. 

HKCR Domestic Law Variation

  • The first tackler must tackle, or attempt to tackle, below the base of the sternum.
  • Subsequent tacklers may tackle, or attempt to tackle, anywhere below the armpits.

Mental Health Resources

Our player welfare & medical department has a library of mental health resources available upon request.

Below are details of Hong Kong organisations with whom HKCR has ongoing relationships but please contact us for more detailed information or if you have any questions.

General enquiries: [email protected]

Or contact: [email protected]


The Samaritan Befrienders of Hong Kong

Suicide prevention and life education Emotional support hotline Suicide crisis intervention and counseling services

Hotline Tel: +852 2389 2222


Kely Support Group

Prevention, education and harm reduction Positive youth development Advocacy

Hotline Tel: +852 2521 6890
Website: [email protected]

Mind HK

Mind Hong Kong is an initiative formed out of the Patient Care Foundation
They are committed to improving awareness and understanding of mental health in Hong Kong.