University and Exeter Chiefs to offer rugby PhD

University and Exeter Chiefs to offer rugby PhD

The University of Exeter has teamed up with Exeter Chiefs rugby club to fund a PhD study into the injury risks facing young rugby players.

The fully funded PhD student will investigate risk factors for injuries in Exeter Chiefs academy players.

The results will be used to inform the way training is carried out, and possibly for other interventions to help aspiring rugby stars.

“This exciting new development demonstrates the ongoing commitment of Exeter Chiefs to invest in research to ensure that scientific evidence underpins how they develop and sustain young players” said Dr Sharon Dixon, of the University of Exeter, main supervisor of the project.

The project will build on existing work by the university and Exeter Chiefs to investigate risk factors for injury in senior players.

The new project’s objectives will include keeping a comprehensive record of injuries to academy players, developing a screening and monitoring process for assessing injury risk, and making recommendations regarding footwear for specific playing surfaces.

Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter, who was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Exeter last month, said: “People will be well aware of the outstanding link the Chiefs and the university already possess.

“Over the years we have worked together on various projects, all of which have helped to benefit not only the club, but the university as well.

“As a club who are keen to promote from within, especially our young talent, it’s vital that we have in place all the necessary procedures to ensure they are looked after in the best way possible.

“Anything we can do to ensure player safety is key to our success, so we are very excited at what lies ahead.”

Applications for the PhD will close on 29 September. More details are available at http://www.exeter.ac.uk/studying/funding/award/?id=2719

The successful candidate will be based at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter, and will start in October or as soon as possible thereafter.

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