The Highlanders-University of Otago rugby sponsorship deal
could draw on the strengths of Dunedin brain research, and
make the sport safer, two Otago University academics
Anatomy and psychology senior research fellow Andrew Clarkson
said there was ''major concern'' about the effects of repeat
concussion on the health of rugby players.
''I don't think that there are any negatives with the
university sponsoring the Highlanders, but rather positives.
''I would anticipate that with this partnership, more testing
will be/could be undertaken to understand the impact that
concussions are having on the brain, and how better to
prevent this from happening,'' he said by email.
Dunedin School of Medicine sports medicine authority
David Gerrard agreed, saying access to the team could
engender research to make rugby safer, and find ways to
improve players' longevity.
The partnership fitted well with Dunedin's research strength
in brain health, and with the university's historic ties with
Prof Gerrard said the sport was stringent in detecting and
treating concussion at the elite rugby level, although there
were concerns about its management at high school and junior