A World Rugby medical training event organised by the Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) in New Zealand and Australia has been hailed as a huge success by some of the region’s most eminent sports physicians.
The World Rugby medical course levels two and three, developed specifically for team medical and allied health staff, were held in New Zealand Rugby House in Wellington, and Bond University on Australia’s Gold Coast last month as part of FORU and World Rugby’s commitment to put player welfare at the top of the agenda for 2015 and every year.
These courses were fully subscribed with a total of 44 people attending – 22 at each location – with the aim being to train all medical personal to the required a high standard and also to train more FORU senior medical educators, who will support further education at this level within the region.
Dr Steve Freeman, Australia’s under-20s team doctor and the match-day doctor for the NSW Waratahs, said: “I found the course hugely beneficial. It demonstrated a huge commitment from the course organisers to have compiled and refined this programme, and then trained the trainers. As far as those who attended from Sydney, we now have plans in place for regular refreshers. 
'Best emergency-care programme'

“This is certainly the best emergency/immediate-care programme I have ever attended in terms of the scope of teaching, the resources/materials, the practical elements, the time included for practice and the calibre of the teaching staff.”
Dr Sharron Flahive, the NSW Waratahs Super Rugby doctor, added: “It’s not often that I have come away from a course feeling like it is the most valuable weekend I have spent in a long time. Outstanding.”
Dr Ash Singh from the Melbourne Rebels described the course as “amazing” and said it was “useful on many levels”.
Dr Ken Crichton (NRL medical consultant) said the “instructors’ commitment and expertise was obvious” while Dr Kevin Bell from New Zealand Super Rugby side the Chiefs added: “I have no hesitation in saying it was the best educational course in any form I have done before and I look forward to the refresher in a few years.”
Plans underway for more courses

World Rugby Chief Medical Officer Dr Martin Raftery said: “We have been delighted with the feedback from this course here and around the world and it is a tribute to the hard work and planning that went into it as well as the dedication of the delegates themselves. In addition to FORU, it’s important to recognise the excellent contribution of the Australian Rugby Union and New Zealand Rugby in making these courses happen.

“FORU now has four senior medical educators and the buy-in from the medical experts in the region has been exceptional. Plans are already underway to run the same course next year in order to build on this success.”

In total, 90 doctors have completed the second level of the course and 66 have done level three. As part of World Rugby player welfare standards for RWC 2015 all on-field medical staff for all teams must have completed as a minimum this level two immediate care in rugby course.