Investigation of the Demands of Participation in Physical Disability Rugby League


Physical Disability Rugby League is a sport that was created in Sydney to allow persons with physical disability to play league ( Currently, there are four teams in Sydney (Newtown Jets, Manly Sea Eagles, Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs) who have played a regular competition since 2012. The majority of players with disability have cerebral palsy but players with other disabilities play (e.g. stroke, muscular atrophy, limb deficiency). The unique combination of tackle and touch rules allows abled bodied and individuals with mild to severe disability to play league. The purpose of this research is to create a basis of knowledge for the identification of the benefits of and development of PDRL. There is currently very little literature on any disabled contact sport similar to PDRL.


Dr Che Fornusek

Research Location

Exercise, Health and Performance Research Group

Program Type



This project aims to investigate the demands and benefits (physical and mental) of physical disability rugby. Initially, the on field performance and demands of participation within physical disability rugby league match-play will be examined. On field performance such as physical demands and movement patterns will be quantified using Global Positioning System (GPS) monitors. A secondary aim is to compare the physical demands and movement patterns of physical disability rugby league to other disability and non-disability team sports. This data will be compared to anthropometric, physical and physiological characteristics of players in physical disability rugby league to develop disability classification system for physical disability rugby league. Players will be also monitored and the physical, mental and quality of life benefits of participation will be measured.

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Rugby League, Disability, Cerebral Palsy, performance, health, Quality of Life

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1934

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