THE University of Limerick (UL) and IRFU have announced details of a long-term research partnership focusing on injury monitoring and prevention in amateur rugby.
The IRFU, last September, invited tenders for the development and implementation of a long-term high quality injury surveillance and prevention programme across the amateur game.
UL were the successful applicant after an open tender process and the necessary resources are now in place to commence work on the research project ahead of the new season.
The programme looks to enable the IRFU to measure the incidence, nature and severity of injury in amateur rugby as well as monitoring trends in injury over time.
The work will also provide an insight into the possible causes of injury as well as helping to plan, implement and evaluate measures to prevent injury.
Leading the research at UL are Dr Tom Comyns and Dr Ian Kenny. They stated: "This research partnership between the University of Limerick and the IRFU is an innovative and exciting partnership for UL and the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences (PESS).
"The project aligns with the research goals and mission of both the university and the PESS department. We have worked with local clubs, provinces and the IRFU in recent years on many aspects of performance monitoring and conditioning, and we are committed to bringing that experience to this injury surveillance research with the IRFU.
"Crucially this long-term injury surveillance project will help inform game policy using the very best empirical evidence available from the game's grassroots in schools and clubs."
Dr Rod McLoughlin, Head of Medical Services at the IRFU, commented: "Player welfare is the IRFU's number one priority at all levels of the game, and I believe that research into our amateur game will ensure continued protection for all players.”