Rugby Codes Research Group (RCRG) - Interdisciplinary Research


  • Are you a fan of professional rugby? Want to get fit?
    You may be eligible to take part in a free healthy lifestyle programme being run through the Blues.
    We are looking for male rugby fans who are interested in improving their health and fitness to take part in RuFIT-NZ, a 12-week healthy lifestyle programme delivered through professional rugby clubs. In order to participate, you will need to be 30-65 years old and be overweight.
    You will receive an individually tailored ‘on field’ physical activity programme delivered by the Blues trainers, as well as helpful lifestyle information. You will also get to be part of a team of similar men who are part of the study.
    Contact for more information.
    RUFIT-NZ on social media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • PhD Studentship open for applications on the Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance (IRIS) project at University of Limerick, Ireland
    Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance: Amateur Rugby
    This studentship will involve the expansion of the existing Irish Rugby Injury Surveillance (IRIS) project for schools and women’s domestic rugby in Ireland. The focus will be on the collection, tracking and tend analysis of injury patterns. Impact of warm-up and structured strength and conditioning sessions on injury incidence in the amateur domestic game will also be an objective of this research programme. The overall aim is to enhance the health and welfare of Rugby players across the domestic game in Ireland.
    Supervisors: Dr Tom Comyns ( and Dr Ian Kenny (
    IRIS info:

Holistic advancement of practice within the rugby codes via applied research.


  • Bring together expertise that integrates areas of sport research (injury prevention, strength & conditioning, sport technology, coaching, psychology, physiology, performance analysis, leadership, management).
  • Offer leading edge design and development solutions to rugby organisations, teams and players around the world.

Breaking news: Global Rugby Codes Research Programme launched.

Global Rugby Health Research Programme
Research Projects in Progress
Group Publications
Research Grants Gained
Member Profiles
RCRG in the Media
Additional Resources

History of RCRG:
The Rugby Codes Research Group (RCRG) was established in February 2010 based on the prior work in rugby related research of Professors Patria Hume and Will Hopkins and their postgraduate students – specifically Dr Ken Quarrie, Dr Simon Gianotti and Dr Doug King. Although injury prevention and strength and conditioning (S&C) was the original focus, the advent of the Rugby Codes Interdisciplinary Research Group means areas such as coaching, psychology, performance analysis, management and business are now included. This exciting integrated approach means that knowledge across research areas will be combined allowing effective holistic advancement of practice within the rugby codes. The group includes members from undergraduate to professorial level and national and international collaborators. The group has a diverse team that includes epidemiologists, biomechanists, physiotherapists, medical doctors, an emergency nurse, professors, senior lecturers, lecturers as well as PhD, Masters, undergraduate exchange and BSR cooperative students.

The RCRG co-leaders work together to help achieve the aims of the RCRG:
Professor Patria Hume (Founder of RCRG, AUT Professor Human Performance, Biomechanist, Kinanthropometrist, Injury prevention specialist, Injury epidemiologist)
Professor Lesley Ferkins (AUT staff, Sports Management specialist)
Associate Professor Nic Gill (All Blacks Strength & Conditioning Coach, AUT Staff)
Dr Doug King (AUT SPRINZ Research Associate, Biomechanist, Kinanthropometrist, Injury Prevention specialist, Injury epidemiologist)
Dr Matt Brughelli (AUT staff, Strength and conditioning specialist, Biomechanist)

We aim to provide the latest evidence based knowledge from the literature informing best practice within the rugby codes taking a comprehensive account of all supporting factions.

Specific roles and responsibilities within the RCRG include:

RCRG membership: Professor Lesley Ferkins (Chair), Professor Patria Hume, Dr Doug King
RCRG postgraduate liaison: Professor Lesley Ferkins
RCRG e-Magazine editor: 2012-2016 Professor Patria Hume; 2017-2018 Associate Professor Nic Gill
RCRG grants: Dr Matt Brughelli (Chair), Professor Lesley Ferkins, Dr Doug King
RCRG web coordinator: Nicole Manuela (AUT SPRINZ research officer)
RCRG media liaison: Susannah Dalton (AUT media), Ian Long (NZR)
RCRG liaison with NZ Rugby: Dr Ken Quarrie (NZR), Associate Professor Nic Gill, Professor Lesley Ferkins
RCRG liaison with NZ Rugby League: Dr Simon Mayhew (NZRL), Professor Patria Hume, Dr Doug King
RCRG liaison with World Rugby: Dr Ken Quarrie

Members include AUT staff, SPRINZ research associates and postgraduate students:

Professor Lesley Ferkins, Professor Patria Hume, Dr Doug King, Associate Professor Chris Whatman, Dr Matt Brughelli, Dr Sarah‐Kate Millar, Gaye Bryham, Katie Dee, Associate Professor Duncan Reid, Associate Professor Alice Theadom, Associate Professor Gwyn Lewis, Associate Professor Denise Taylor, Dr Elizabeth Bradshaw, Associate Professor Jacqueline Alderson, Susannah Dalton, Dr Anna Lorimer, Dr Ken Quarrie (NZRU), Dr Victor Lopez (USA Rugby), Professor Stephen Marshall (USA), Dr Stephen Kara (Blues Rugby), Isaac Carlson (ACC), Natalie Hardaker (ACC), Dean Watkins (NZRL), Gareth Irwin (Cardiff MetUni), Frank Bourgeois II, James de Lacey, Richard Swinbourne, Jan Reynecke, Caleb Dobbs, Alex Ross, Albert Chang, Kim Simperingham, Lee Bridgeman, Dr Scott Brown, Professor Mike McGuigan, Dr Craig Harrison, Dr Travis McMaster, Kevin Sheehy, Dr Stephen Reay, Professor Enrico Haemmerle, Liz Binns (AUT). 

Collaborators: Tony Iro (NZRL), Mark Plummer (Blues), Dr Rosamund Hill (Auckland Hospital), Dr Ralph Maddison (University of Auckland), Samantha Marsh (Uni of Auckland), Dr Grant Searchfield (University of Auckland), Dr Adrian Cohen (Headsafe, University of  Sydney),  Ed Mlinek (X2 Biosystems, USA), Jason Thibado (X2 Biosystems), Professor Brendan Burkett (University of Sunshine Coast), Dr Simone Oehler (Otto Bock), Prof Wayne Derman (Sport Science Institute of South Africa), Dr Karen Hind (Leeds Beckett University UK), Prof Richard Aspden (Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen), Dr Theocharis Ispoglou, (Leeds Beckett University), Dr Katalin Pauley‐Takacs (Leeds Beckett University), Dr Answorth A. Allen (Hospital for Special Surgery, New York), Dr Robert Cantu (Emerson Hospital, USA), Dr Richard (Shen‐Ying) Ma (Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, Columbia), Mark Plummer (Blues Rugby), Dr Yaodong Zhu (China), Dr Rosamund Hill (Auckland Hospital), Professor Melinda Fitzgerald (UWA), Ian Entwistle (Leeds Beckett University), Dr Costas Tsakirides (Leeds Beckett Uni), Dr Michelle Swainson (Leeds Beckett University), Dr Antonis Stavropoulos-Kalinoglou (Leeds Beckett University), Anick Sharma (Leeds Beckett University), Professor Clive Begg (Leeds Beckett University), Dr Peter Francis (Leeds Beckett University), Professor Richard Aspden (University of Aberdeen), Dr Jenny Gregory (University of Aberdeen), Dr Clare Fraser (Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney), Dr Alan Pearce (La Trobe University, Australia), Dr Jarrod Meerkin (MeasureUp, Australia), Prof Patrick Neary (Regina, Canada) and Dr Steve Martin (Victoria, Canada).


Rugby Codes Research Group e-Mag Issue 6 - March 2019

Rugby Codes Research Group e-Mag Issue 5 - March 2018

Rugby Codes Research Group e-Mag Issue 4 - September 2016

Rugby Codes Research News - Issue 3 - June 2015

Rugby Codes Research News - Issue 2 - October 2014

Rugby Codes Research News - Issue 1 - August 2013