Rugby Codes Research Group (RCRG) - Interdisciplinary Research

Established in February 2010 to integrate rugby-related research findings and inform holistic advancement of practice within the rugby codes.

Interdisciplinary with collaborators from injury prevention, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, coaching, psychology, performance analysis, management and business, epidemiology, physiotherapy, medicine, nursing.

  • Global Rugby Health Research Group focuses on sport originated brain injury (SOBI) (see Traumatic Brain Injury Network for details), and musculoskeletal injury – led by Professor Patria Hume, Dr Doug King, and Dr Karen Hind.
  • Navigating Two Worlds project focuses on Pacific contribution to leadership within the New Zealand rugby system – led by Professor Lesley Ferkins and Gaye Bryham.

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.

RCRG membership

To become a member download this template RCRG Bio Template Example and send to who is the Chair of the Membership panel.

Profiles of our members from 30+ countries