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I would go with football. It’s hard to explain but in spite of the extra protective equipment (or perhaps partly because of it) and despite free substitution rules, injuries are a lot more common in football.
You do see injuries in Rugby, but they are generally minor and don’t really affect the flow of the game. In Football, they are frequent, affect the flow of the game, and it’s not unusual for at least one player in a football game to have to miss the rest of a game because of an injury.
I don’t want to say anything against Rugby but, for the most part, the speed of the players on the field is much lower on average than it is for Football, and that’s probably part of the problem. Running at full speed when you don’t have the ball in Rugby is pointless, but in Football it’s very common. Stopping at those speeds can be devastating, even when you aren’t hit.
In addition, there are lots of situations in a Football game where players are vulnerable, such as catching punts or catching a forward pass in a crowd. In Rugby, runbacks of kicks are less common because strategy dictates kicking out of bounds. In Football, it’s all about depth and hang time rather than quickness and line outs.
It’s not that players in both sports haven’t had devastating injuries. Here in Canada, we had a massive lawsuit when an inexperienced college level Rugby hooker was paralyzed during a scrum. High school Football players have been paralyzed when they “spear” an opponent with their helmet.
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