Research Grants Gained

Grants Gained

  • A 2-year prospective injury epidemiological analysis of Rugby Sevens in North America. National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE).  (US$250,000 for 2 years). Principle 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. Auckland University of Technology Strategic Research Investment Fund. (NZ$250,000 gained of $540,000 requested). Principle 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. Final funded project collaborators: Karen Hind, Ian Entwistle, Peter Francis, Lisa Gannon, Katie Dee, Gaye Bryham, Mike Naylor, Tracy Molloy, Ben Corbett, Eric Schwarz, Clare Hanlon, Jonathan Robertson, Morgan Buckley, Linda Hoey, Yuji Honda, Makoto Nishiki, Soichiro Sano, Steve Grainger, Simon Devoy, Mark Cameron, Nigel Cass, David Shilbury, Adam Karg, Ben Corbett, Enora Le Flao, Chris Whittington, Brendan Burkett. Final non-funded project collaborators: Grant Searchfield, Adrian Cohen, Ed Mlinek; Jason Thibado, Simone Oehler, Wayne Derman, Peter Rae, Kent Rae, Ken Quarrie, Simon Pearson, Victor Lopez, Robert Cantu, Answorth Allen, Winnee Meuwisse, Arun Gupta.

World Rugby Funded Projects Completed in 2015

Two research programmes for World Rugby (previously International Rugby Board) were completed:

The IRB/NZR/AUT RugbyHealth project

Aim: There have been concerns raised about the long‐term effects of repeated head trauma for rugby union players. The International Rugby Board (IRB) commissioned the AUT‐led study which aimed to better understand the long‐term physical and psychological effects of rugby.

Methods: The IRB/NZR/AUT RugbyHealth project described differences and similarities for retired NZ elite rugby union players (ER), retired community level rugby union players (CR) and retired non‐contact (i.e. cricket, hockey) elite and community players (NC) for: A) general health (485 retired players, 27% ER, 58% CR, 15% NC); B) neuropsychological health (366 retired players, 28% ER, 54% CR, 18% NC); C) balance (75 retired players, 31% ER, 37% CR, 32% NC); and D) brain excitability (75 retired players, 31% ER, 37% CR, 32% NC). Players were recruited via multiple strategies including a media campaign.

Please view the fact sheet for the key findings from the project studies.

IRB/AUT IRB/AUT/USC/UOA rugby player equipment review

The IRB/AUT player equipment review aimed to identify products suitable for playing rugby by those who arevisually impaired, have hearing disabilities or require prosthetics. The project comprised Part A ‐ Literature reviewand company product review, Part B – Prostheses in sport conference report, Part C ‐ Pilot research project onhearing aid design.


The Rugby Codes Interdisciplinary Research Group won the AUT University, Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences New Emerging research team award in 2012 and was commended in the Vice Chancellor Research Awards.