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Improving Training Efficiency in Professional Rugby Union

Project Description

Given the association between training load and injury, it is paramount that specific training practices which develop both physical and technical / tactical attributes concurrently using a single practice design are identified. Consequently, the total load allocated to the resulting training session would be less than if two training sessions were undertaken to separately target technical / tactical training and physical conditioning respectively. This represents an efficient training model. Practices within this model should provide; 1) sufficient frequency of interaction opportunities between attackers and defenders to allow players to repeatedly explore different solutions to challenges encountered during periods of competition (Pinder et al., 2011, Davids et al., 2013) and 2) provide sufficient internal and external load deemed necessary to positively influence the athletes’ physiology concurrently (Buchheit and Laursen, 2013, Hoffmann et al., 2014, Sarmento et al., 2018). Bath Rugby and Leeds Beckett University are looking to recruit a highly motivated individual with a passion for sports science, and a desire to scientifically advance the training practices in professional rugby union. The candidate will have a strong grounding in sports science and exercise physiology, alongside experience handling performance and monitoring data (heart rate, GPS etc.). Additionally, the candidate will be hard working and eager to progress within the sports performance field.

The successful candidate’s PhD will focus on the use of technology and physiological training principles to support the design of specific field-based training practices that facilitate both physical and technical / tactical development of professional rugby union players concurrently. The PhD student will work closely with conditioning, rugby and analysis staff to develop an efficient training model at Bath Rugby.

The successful candidates will be embedded within Bath Rugby, collecting data relevant to their PhD. They will work collaboratively with each other and with the wider performance department at the club, and data will be shared between projects. Candidates should be innovative, creative and ambitious, while also being well organised and highly motivated. Positions will require flexible working hours, including evening and weekend work in line with Bath Rugby team scheduling. Candidates should have a strong applied research background and experience of working as part of a multi-disciplinary team. The start date for the PhD is 1st October, although candidates will be encouraged to start 10th June employed as a research assistant.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their proposals and the project with Project Lead Dr. Gregory Roe / / Andrew Rock (Bath Rugby) or Professor Ben Jones

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship will have an advanced bursary of £23,009 per annum (pro-rata into 12 monthly payments) plus UK/EU Fees paid initially for a period of four years.

Overseas applicants must refer to the UKBA regulations on studying in the UK and contact Professor Ben Jones before submitting.

How good is research at Leeds Beckett University in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 48.60

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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