Unfortunately due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been worldwide disruption to World Rugby’s training and education courses. But the training and education team have been adapting in these difficult times and have still found outlets in which they can share their knowledge.

One such place is the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where over 100 physiotherapy students have recently undertaken a First Aid in Rugby (FAIR) course.

The driving force behind the project is experienced physio, Dr Daniel Garnet, who after working in Asia returned to Africa and began running FAIR courses in Mozambique, Mauritius and in his native Kwa-Zulu Natal.

On becoming a lecturer at the University of Pretoria, Garnet saw an opportunity to upskill his fourth-year students while the sporting block of their degree course had ground to a halt due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The World Rugby online course and practical training was offered to satisfy those requirements instead and to great success.

The FAIR courses were so well received they were also rolled out to second-year students, and will be incorporated into the undergraduate programme moving forward.

In total, 115 students completed the Concussion for Healthcare Professionals, First Aid in Rugby and Rugby Ready modules on the World Rugby passport site.

The 55 fourth-year students who took part also completed the practical component with the omission of physical rescue breaths.

The University of Pretoria gave access to their skills labs and provided extra AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) and mannequins for the training, thus making the course COVID-19 compliant.

Acknowledging the positive impact the World Rugby course has had on his students, Dr Garnet said: “The World Rugby FAIR course is a great resource for our physiotherapy students at UP. It offers evidence-based principles in an easily accessible online learning platform. The content is professionally presented and ensures that our students learn effective practical skills training for pitchside player welfare. We look forward to integrating it with our undergraduate curriculum in 2021."

Read more: Autumn Nations Cup as told by the players >>