Category: Free Kick

The Top 15 Rugby Researchers, Journals and Institutions in World

In February 2015, we posted an article “Research in Rugby growing exponentially-Rugby Research’s Top 15” Based on a Scopus search ( at the time (February 2015), we illustrated the growth of rugby research and the top rugby researchers and rugby research institutions. Here is the 3-year update (April 2018).

The Search

Before we get into the results, these are the search terms we entered into Scopus. For those unfamiliar with Scopus, it’s a database of peer-reviewed published research. Like any search database, you in type in a search term and it retrieves all the relevant data.

Below are our search terms: –

“Rugby” (will include rugby union, rugby league, rugby, etc)

“Rugby Union” (only rugby union)

My research interest is the tackle in rugby, so I also searched for: –

“Rugby” AND “Tackle”

“Rugby Union” AND “Tackle”

Only research with the above terms in the title, abstract or keywords were retrieved. The search includes all subject areas.

We report the number of articles by year, the top 15 rugby researchers, the top 15 rugby publishing journals, and the top 15 rugby research institutions.

Articles by year for “Rugby”

5031 articles on “rugby” since 1847.

3150 (63%) articles produced in the last 10 years. Average of 315 articles a year. 1338 published since the 2015 post.

Top 15 “Rugby” Publishing Journals

Top 15 “Rugby” Researchers

Top 15 “Rugby” Research Institutions

Articles by year for “Rugby Union”

1157 “Rugby Union”articles.

864 (75%) over the last 10 years. That’s an average of 86 articles a year. 391 published articles since 2015.

Top 15 “Rugby Union” Publishing Journals

Top 15 “Rugby Union” Researchers

Top 15 “Rugby Union” Research Institutions

Articles by year for “Rugby” AND “Tackle”

 262 articles on “Rugby” AND “Tackle”. 195 (74%) produced in the last 10 years.

Top 15 “Rugby” AND “Tackle” Publishing Journals

Top 15 “Rugby” AND “Tackle” Researchers

Top 15 “Rugby” AND “Tackle” Research Institutions

Articles by year for “Rugby Union” AND “Tackle”


Top 15 “Rugby Union” AND “Tackle” Publishing Journals

Top 15 “Rugby Union” AND “Tackle” Researchers

Top 15 “Rugby Union” AND “Tackle” Institutions

Let us know your thoughts, drop us a tweet or comment below.

Sharief Hendricks

Rate these 5 elements before you introduce or buy new equipment for rugby training

“A fool with a tool, is still a fool”

This article was brought about by a tweet from our friend Arend Neethling @ProvinceFan – a big supporter of the game of rugby.

The tweet related specifically to an American Football tackle training device (the Mobile Virtual Player, MVP), applied to rugby. Below are 5 elements to look out for and rate out of 5 (1=Not at all and 5=Maximal) before introducing or buying new equipment for rugby training.

Is it representative of match playing conditions?

It is an extension of the tackle bag (which we’ve recommended not using before It has the element of moving towards the player and change direction. In the video, the speed does not seem match like and I can’t comment on the height, weight and feel of the bag.

Score  = 2.0

Is their potential for learning and transfer (to matches)?

For the young developing under the correct coaching instruction, potentially. However, based on the video, players seem to interact with it the same way they do with the other foam equipment – diving into contact, no hit-stick and leg drive.

Score  = 1.5

Will it improve the safety of player in matches (not only training)?

Based on the above the above two considerations, I highly doubt it.


Cost and Usability?

$825 dollars for one. That’s 579 GBP or 10 000 ZAR.


Does facilitate the coaching process?

For a young developing player, I think a coach with a good understanding of coaching contact techniques can use the MVP as a step towards 1v1 live contact. For the experienced youth player and upwards, not so much.


Based on the above evaluation, the MVP scores 7/25.

Let us know your rating based on the above 5 elements?