How’s the mind and body holding up now that you’ve retired from rugby, cricket or hockey?
If you are a retired male rugby, cricket or field hockey player we need your help to find out more about the long-term health implications of playing rugby – and it’s all for the good of the game. By participating in the first international study of its kind you’ll be making a vital contribution to the welfare of future generations of rugby players.
(Just in case you're wondering... by 'retired' we mean from regular matches and training, the occasional game is fine).
As this is medical research we need you to fill out a consent form, the link below will take you it. Confidentiality is assured. Once that is completed you can head straight to the two online questionnaires we would like you to fill out which should take 25-30 minutes each
You can also take part in two clinic tests for a more in depth assessment of your neurological health. For more information about what is involved in all parts of the study see the page menu below or contact Scott.
Male retired rugby, cricket and field hockey players from the following groups:
This study is designed for retired players only, players still actively involved in playing rugby are not required to participate. The occasional game is fine.
A life of rugby provides so many benefits for those taking part – for some it’s a career, for all it’s about mateship, enjoyment, good health and fitness and a lifelong love of the game. Along the way, as with any physical pursuits, there’s knocks, niggles and injuries – some more severe than others.
We all know that there are risks involved in playing rugby.
What we don’t know at the moment is the extent to which playing rugby affects players over the longer term - for better or worse. If we don’t know, we can’t maximise the benefits of being involved in the game, while minimising the risks. It is important to understand that the study is not just about concussions - it is a broad study of how people who played rugby are getting on later in life. We need people to enrol regardless of how they are getting on - whether they are happy and healthy or having difficulty with any aspect of their lives.
What is the neuropsychological health status of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?
This survey will give us measures of visual and verbal memory, information processing speed, attention, reaction time and other important brain health measures and will take around 30 minutes.
What is the general health status of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?
This questionnaire has sections on medical health, joint and bone health, mental health, alcohol and drugs and social relationships and should take between 20-30 minutes.
What is the balance status of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?
Clinic based assessment using the Equitest balance device taking 30 minutes.
What is the state of connection between the brain and body of retired rugby athletes compared with retired non-contact sport athletes?
Clinic based assessment using the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS for short) device to measure how well your brain communicates with the rest of your body. Testing will take 90 minutes.
The project involves the International Rugby Board (IRB), New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU), the AUT University Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), the AUT University Health Rehabilitation Research Institute (HRRI), the AUT University National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience (NISAN), the University of Otago Injury Prevention Research Unit (IPRU) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The New Zealand Rugby Union Players Association and New Zealand Cricket Players Association endorse the project and are helping with promotion of the study and recruitment of players.
Chief Medical Officer, International Rugby Board (IRB).
Senior Scientist (Injury Prevention and Performance), New Zealand Rugby Union.
Professor, Human Performance, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, AUT University.