Leeds Beckett University
MonitoringTrainingAndMatchInducedFatigueInAcademyRugbyUnionPlayers-ROE.pdf (39.04 MB)

Monitoring Training and Match-Induced Fatigue in Academy Rugby Union Players

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posted on 2022-11-22, 14:58 authored by Gregory RoeGregory Roe

he aim of the thesis was to investigate changes in markers of fatigue following training and match-play in academy rugby union players. Prior to investigations, the between-day reliability of fatigue markers was investigated. Measures of lower-and upper-body neuromuscular function (countermovement jump (CMJ) and plyometric push-up) demonstrated acceptable reliability (CV = 2-6%) in a number of metrics, as did whole blood creatine kinase concentratio

n ([CK]) (CV = 26.1%) and a short wellbeing questionnaire (CV = 7.1%) when considering the signal to noise ratio. Additionally, the validity of micro-technology (GPS and accelerometer metrics) was evaluated for assessing training and match characteristics. Specifically, 10 Hz GPS proved a valid measure of maximum sprint velocity (r = 0.93-0.98) while Player LoadTM slow demonstrated a useful surrogate measure of collision activity (r = 0.61-0.80). Finally, observations from a preseason training cycle showed that CMJ metrics demonstrated superior sensitivity to training than a 6-second peak power cycle ergometer test for assessing lower-body neuromuscular function.

 Following match-play, substantial (likely-almost certainly greater than the smallest worthwhile change) changes in markers of fatigue were observed, which peaked at 24 hours post-match, and recovered in the first 3 days thereafter. Field-based training inclusive of contact resulted in substantially greater reductions in upper-body neuromuscular function and perception of wellbeing, and greater elevations in [CK], while exclusion of contact induced possibly greater reductions in lower-body neuromuscular function 24 hours post-training. Findings suggest it may be prudent to afford players a recovery day following either match-play or contact training. Furthermore, the results demonstrated the individual nature of fatigue, underlying the importance of individual athlete monitoring. Additionally, possible and likely increases in lower-body strength and sprint maximum velocity respectively were observed during a preseason despite substantial reductions in CMJ mean power, questioning the usefulness of a CMJ for monitoring fatigue in the context of strength and sprint velocity development. 1


Qualification name

  • PhD


Till, Kevin

Awarding Institution

Leeds Beckett University

Completion Date


Qualification level

  • Doctoral


  • eng


Leeds Beckett University

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