World Rugby: funding for player welfare and safety


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World Rugby: funding for player welfare and safety

World Rugby launched its annual appeal for research project funding applications with the goal of promoting evidence-based improvements in priority areas of player wellness and safety, including shock.

In support of the goal of making rugby more accessible to a broader base of participants, the international federation is committed to advancing standards of player safety and well-being guided by scientific research. Since 2015, World Rugby has provided more than £ 750,000 to fund targeted studies by independent bodies, helping to advance its evidence-based approach to injury prevention, management and education.

Some recent examples of projects World Rugby committed funds to include:

  • The health benefits and impact of playing high-level rugby

  • Shock Attitudes and Prevention Practices in Developing Rugby Nations

  • Injury risks and efficacy of preventive strategies in mixed skills rugby

  • Injury surveillance in grassroots and youth rugby

  • Sources of off-season psychological and physical recovery in professional rugby players

  • Effectiveness in implementing a commotion management pathway in community rugby

For the 2021 application cycle, World Rugby is particularly interested in receiving study proposals from the following priority areas regarding player well-being and safety:

  • Shock

  • Transgender participation

  • Injury surveillance and prevention

  • Injury trends in women’s rugby

  • Anti-doping

  • Playing surfaces

The World Rugby President Sir Bill Beaumont He said: “As a player parent and former player, I am personally committed to growing the science available to continue to shape the approach to safeguarding the well-being of our players.”

“Research-led advancements remain central to our approach to player wellness and safety and we are proud to support this crucial area of ​​our sport with significant investment. New evidence will help us make informed decisions that will eventually benefit players at all levels of the game. “

World Rugby Director of Technical Services Mark Harrington added: “We are constantly exploring all avenues available to improve our standards of player wellness and safety while remaining our top priority. The research community can play a vital role in informing and shaping the future of rugby and this ambitious funding project represents an excellent opportunity to support independent entities whose research will benefit all of sport at all levels. ”

Application guide

Interested applicants can submit their project on the World Rugby online portal between February 1 and April 30, 2021. You will be able to follow the progress of your proposal through the review process carried out by independent experts. Only proposals that fall under the priority areas of player wellness and safety will be considered in the current funding cycle.

Particular interest in research on the participation of transgender players

Following the approval of updated participation guidelines in October 2020, World Rugby remains committed to funding and supporting transgender-specific research to aid player safety and well-being. To reinforce this commitment, transgender participation has been added to the list of research funding areas, including concussion, injury prevention and trends, anti-doping, and playing surfaces.


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