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Academic partner required to conduct injury surveillance research across targeted competitions

World Rugby and Rugby Europe announce tender process to select Regional Player Welfare Research Centre

Player welfare is at the heart of World Rugby’s and Rugby Europe’s strategic aims of making the game as attractive, enjoyable, and safe for players across all ages and playing levels. Having a clear understanding of the nature of the risks posed to players is an important step in being able to manage risks, and relies heavily on having access to good quality, reliable data that accurately describes the patterns of injury in specific settings, playing levels, and player groups.

Injury surveillance programmes have been a long-standing feature of established international and elite national rugby competitions, with findings from these studies providing the foundations from which various player welfare initiatives have been developed and implemented across the game in recent times. However, understanding of the risks posed to players below these elite playing levels is less certain.

World Rugby and Rugby Europe want to expand injury surveillance research into top-level regional and domestic competition structures where little injury surveillance has been conducted to-date. Building on the introduction of injury surveillance research throughout the 2021/22 Rugby Europe Championship, a player welfare research centre is being sought to implement a wider programme of injury surveillance research across top-level domestic and regional competition structures in cooperation with Rugby Europe’s player welfare advisory committee.

The selected research centre will be expected to implement a process whereby injury surveillance data is collected, quality-assured, analysed, and reported for the following competitions:

  • Men’s Rugby Europe Championship
  • Men’s Rugby Europe Super Cup
  • Women’s Rugby Europe Championship
  • Men’s 7s Championship
  • Women’s 7s Championship
  • Men’s U20 Championship
  • Boy’s U18 Championship

Funding is available to support approved costs incurred in conducting the project. Further resources available to support the selected research centre include use of World Rugby’s online injury and illness surveillance system, and access to a network of fellow research centres and injury surveillance researchers involved in rugby.

Research groups based in Europe may contact and to request further information or to submit expressions of interest. Interested research groups will be required to submit a complete tender document (supplied on receipt of expression of interest) by 26th August 2022.

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