Table 1

Reasons for regularly wearing protective headgear

Higher order theme (% of responses)Example responses
Prevention of minor injuries (55%)Stop my ears rubbing in the scrum.
Protects from cuts and bumps.
Protection of ears in scrum and studs in rucks.
To stop my ears from getting ripped off.
General confidence (13%)A bit more of a confidence booster to throw myself at the opposition.
I feel more confident going into contact wearing it.
It builds my confidence in tackling and rucking/mauling.
More confidence putting your head where it hurts. Helps to take away any worry of a boot coming into contact with your head.
Confidence after previous injury (12%)I have previously suffered a couple of serious concussions as a result of impacts in the tackle or ruck areas, as a result I began wearing headgear and have not suffered again.
I have been out of games due to a head injury before, so wearing headgear prevents those kinds of injuries.
Began wearing after a series of concussions. Although I am aware that the headgear does not prevent concussions, it provided a feeling of protection.
Prevents concussions (10%)Reduce the chance of a repeated concussion.
Protect head and brain from injury and concussion.
I have had concussion and some bad knocks when not wearing it and haven’t had concussion or any bad knocks when I have been wearing it.
Softens impact to the head in contact, minimising risk of getting knocked out.
Keep hair out of the way (3%)Stops my hair getting pulled in my face so I can see properly.
It was to keep the hair out of my face without looking like a girl with a pony tail.
Habit/routine (3%)Always wore one as a junior and just carried on. More of a mind-set thing now.
I have always worn headgear; it would feel alien to play without it now.
Comfort (2%)I don’t like my ears being exposed.
Warm in the winter.
Parents (1%)My parents make me wear it.
It stops mum complaining.