Day in the Life of a Rugby Physio

Here at BIA, we sponsor two local rugby clubs; Greerton Marist and Rangataua. We provide them with physio and make sure their bodies are in tip-top shape to play rugby! The season starts in March with pre-season training and games and runs until August. Our duties include attending trainings at the clubs every Tuesday and Thursday evening and coming early to their game on a Saturday to sort any pre-game niggles.

On Saturday it was my first game of the season with Greerton Marist. Kick off was at 2pm but I got down there just before 12pm before the teams and crowds. I needed to ensure the physio room at the club was sorted with everything I needed as I knew as soon as the players started to arrive, things would get hectic! I help the players manage any current injuries with massage and advice on how to warm it up thoroughly. I also spend a lot of the time strapping ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows and thumbs!

While the team was warming up, I had the chance to have a quick bite to eat and then sort my bags for the game. I stocked them with first aid equipment, tape, towels, gloves and of course, tape. It’s important I know exactly where everything is in the bags, in case I have to grab something in a rush after a first-aid incident as I don’t have time to fumble around in every pocket!

Before I knew it, it was time for me to put on my high-vis jacket and meet the players on the field. The crowd was already warmed up in the stands and I went to stand next to the other teams’ physio on the side line. Our job during the game is to walk or run along with the game watching my team. We have to keep tight eyes on the tackles and scrums to make sure the Players stand up straight away and aren’t injured. A couple times during the game a few players did hurt themselves and I had to run on to check they were alright, dodging the game to ensure I don’t get tackled to the ground! I had to make sure one guy was alright after he got hit in the head. Concussions can be very dangerous if they go untreated. At half time and after tries are scored, I run on to check with all the players to see if they need any help. Fortunately, we didn’t have any major injuries this game! We also won, which is a great start to the season!

After the final whistle, I check in with all the guys again. I assess the players who were hurt during the game in the physio room and give them advice on what to do now. Some may need an X-ray but some just need rest. I then let the coaches and managers know how the players are doing and keep them up to date with any injuries. Finally, I can begin to clean up the room and head home! Getting ready to touch base with the guys again on Tuesday!