Improving player welfare will be the aim of the game for an elite group of rugby doctors and physiotherapists, representing leading professional teams from across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, at Bond University this week.
A specialist training course, conducted by World Rugby (formerly the International Rugby Board) for only the second time in Australia, will focus on the treatment of the full spectrum of rugby injuries, from musculoskeletal and head injuries to managing airways.
In total, 22 medical professionals from teams including the New South Wales Waratahs, Melbourne Rebels, ACT Brumbies, Western Force, National Under 20s and Women’s National Rugby team will attend the three day Immediate Care in Rugby course, from Friday, January 16, to Sunday, January 18.
Representatives from professional teams in New Zealand, Samoa and Fiji will also take part.
Australian Rugby Union chief medical officer, Dr Warren McDonald, who will conduct the course, said the training aimed to improve consistency in the treatment of injuries in top level rugby.
“In recent years, World Rugby has moved to deliver this training on an international level to ensure consistency in the way injuries are treated and managed to improve player welfare, both over the short and long term,” he said.
“The course provides information and skills on the latest processes and best practice for managing injuries so those working for all elite teams deliver the same level of care for players.”
Dr McDonald said similar courses had been offered in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and South America, with World Rugby focused on improving standards on an international level.
The first course of its kind in Australia was delivered at Bond University in January last year.
“The aim is to run these courses more regularly and extend them beyond professional rugby to those working at club level as well,” he said.
“The response from medical practitioners and physiotherapists working in this field has been very strong and we want to give more the chance to take part in the future.”
Bond University physiotherapy professor Dr Wayne Hing said it was a coup to have the course held at Bond University.
“To have doctors and physiotherapists of such a high level in professional sport on campus for this training is recognition of the high caliber of facilities we have here and solidifies our strong relationship with Australian Rugby Union,” he said.