Rugby Codes Research Group (RCRG) - Interdisciplinary Research

The Rugby Codes Research Group (RCRG) was established in February 2010 to integrate rugby-related research findings and inform holistic advancement of practice within the rugby codes.

Since its establishment, the group has expanded:

  • Its focus - from injury prevention and strength and conditioning to now include coaching, psychology, performance analysis, management and business
  • Its members – the group originally included Professors Patria Hume and Will Hopkins and their postgraduate students, specifically Dr Ken Quarrie, Dr Simon Gianotti and Dr Doug King. It now encompasses a diverse team of epidemiologists, biomechanists, physiotherapists, medical doctors, an emergency nurse, professors, senior lecturers and lecturers

Our research

Grants gained

  • A 2-year prospective injury epidemiological analysis of Rugby Sevens in North America
    Awarding body: National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE)
    Amount and duration: US$250,000 for 2 years)
    Principal investigators: Answorth Allen, Victor Lopez, Robert Cantu, Patria Hume, Richard Ma, Meryle Weinstein, Arun Gupta
  • Rugby Codes Research Group (RCRG) governance and technology expansion programme
    Awarding body: Auckland University of Technology Strategic Research Investment Fund
    Amount: NZ$250,000 gained of $540,000 requested
    Principal investigators: Lesley Ferkins, Patria Hume, Matt Brughelli. Associate investigators: Roy Nates, Stephen Reay, Enrico Haemmerle, Doug King, Coral Ingley, Nic Gill, Alice Theadom, Gwyn Lewis, Anna Lorimer
  • The IRB/NZR/AUT RugbyHealth project
    Awarding body: World Rugby (previously International Rugby Board)
    Project aim: to better understand the longā€term physical and psychological effects of rugby
  • IRB/AUT IRB/AUT/USC/UOA rugby player equipment review
    Awarding body: World Rugby
    Project aim: to identify products suitable for playing rugby by those who are visually impaired, have hearing disabilities or require prosthetics.


  • AUT University Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences New Emerging Research Team Award in 2012 and commended in the Vice-Chancellor Research Awards

Using research to inform best practice

The Rugby Codes Research Group (RCRG) is part of our interdisciplinary research groups with a common aim: to bring together expertise from varied sport-related disciplines to inform best practice for organisations, teams and players around the world.

Other interdisciplinary research groups

Our people


Member roles

  • RCRG membership
    Lesley Ferkins (Chair)
    Patria Hume
    Doug King
  • RCRG postgraduate liaison
    Lesley Ferkins
  • RCRG e-Magazine editor
    2012-2016 Patria Hume
    2017-2018 Nic Gill
    2019-present Hannah Wyatt
  • RCRG grants
    Matt Brughelli (Chair)
    Lesley Ferkins
    Doug King
  • RCRG media liaison
    Andrea Malcolm (AUT media)
    Ian Long (NZR)
  • RCRG liaison with NZ Rugby
    Ken Quarrie (NZR)
    Nic Gill
    Lesley Ferkins
  • RCRG liaison with NZ Rugby League
    Simon Mayhew (NZRL)
    Patria Hume
    Doug King
  • RCRG liaison with World Rugby
    Ken Quarrie

A list of all current members

Become a member
If you would like to become a member of the Rugby Codes Research Group, use the template below (type over the example) and send to

RCRG Bio Template Example