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.

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