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Research Strategy

A key part of’s strategic goals is continuing to enhance player welfare standards.'s Research Strategy

A key part of’s strategic goals is continuing to enhance player welfare standards. Scientific research plays a key role in driving player welfare standards because the findings generated from research can help to inform the standards of care players receive across all levels of Rugby.’s research strategy was developed to help with identifying and carrying out’s player welfare research priorities.

Research interest is expanding in rugby and’s research strategy benefits from regular input from multiple stakeholders, including players and coaches, administrators, clinicians, and academics. These stakeholders shape the research strategy by identifying evolving topics to be treated as research priorities, while also playing key roles in seeing research findings translated into best practice.’s Scientific Committee assess and recommend proposals to receive funding, review progress of funded projects and approve completed research projects. Projects that receive approval from the Scientific Committee for funding are also reviewed by’s internal Risk Management Group for possible business risks.
The Institutional Ethics Committee provides ethical oversight of research being undertaken by and on behalf of The committee aims to protect and maintain the health, safety and rights of all participants in rugby-related research, which is involved in, through promoting proper ethical standards of research involving human participants.

As well as external research, also operates an internal research programme through the Research Unit. The unit designs, undertakes, and reports on research projects that have been identified as priorities. Recent examples of the research undertaken by the unit include testing the use of law changes to reduce concussion risk, and examining’s Head Injury Assessment protocol to strengthen diagnostic accuracy.


Player Welfare News logo - one to use for generic releases

Player Welfare opens 2023 player welfare research funding application process has today launched its 2023 call for applications to fund research projects with the aim of promoting evidence-based enhancements in player welfare priority areas, including concussion. Research funded by has seen the game benefit from a greater breadth of sport specific research into player welfare than any other sport.
Read now on 
Tue 7 February, 2023
· 1 min read
Australia v New Zealand - O'Reilly Cup

Player Welfare

Rugby World Cup 2021 to set new benchmark for player welfare

Rugby World Cup 2021 will kick off this week, with the best rugby players in the world, supported by the most advanced player welfare standards ever delivered at a rugby event.  Player welfare is’s number one priority and the international federation is using the tournament to help improve the level of rugby specific, academic research on head impacts in the women.
 Read now on RWC 2021
Thu 6 October, 2022
· 2 min read
Player Welfare Videos
Tue 21 June, 2022
"Gold standard" Dr Bob Cantu on elite rugby's new Graduated Return to Play protocols