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Rabbitohs Link With Maquarie University PhD Student

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With a fresh new look at the Rabbitohs, it’s fitting that the high performance unit has brought in intern Dan Glassbrook, who is currently undergoing a PHD in Biomechanics.

Currently completing his studies at Macquarie University, Glassbrook cited his passion for sport as a youngster as a gateway to where he is now at the Rabbitohs, and will be for the next three years learning under the Rabbitohs High Performance staff.

“When I was a kid I was always into sport as I grew up following rugby union. When I went to high school, the subject I really excelled at was PE, and I enjoyed the writing side to it as well as the physical activity side, so I always knew that I wanted to get into something sporty because I really enjoyed playing and also doing it at school, and then continued doing that at university,” he said.

“I ended up at the Rabbitohs after applying for a scholarship, through the collaboration between the Club and Macquarie University, where I’m doing my PhD under Dr Tim Doyle.

“I’ve been here since the end of January, and I’ll be here for the next three years.”

Rabbitohs Head of High Performance Paul Devlin explains the importance of having a relationship with Maquarie University in order to build a research foundation at the Club.

"Dan Glassbrook is the first step in establishing a research foundation at the Rabbitohs and that's in collaboration with Macquarie University and Dr. Tim Doyle who is incredibly well renowned worldwide for his biomechanics research and knowledge," said Devlin. 

"We have been using that to further our performance department while also our injury prevention areas and Dan's the first step in what will hopefully be a long-term partnership between the two organisations." 

Despite unwavering results on the field this year, Glassbrook has been impressed with the innovation and the vision of the high performance team, who are always working to improve the performance of the squad.

“We’ve got a really good high performance team," explained Glassbrook.

"In the office there’s a lot of great ideas that come around and the guys are really well equipped to get those ideas into practice and to put them into terms that the players can understand.

“We use some pretty technical terms in a great depth of science, and I’ve been really impressed with the ideas that have come out and the passion for sports science and the exciting directions we’re heading into.

“We’re doing a lot of research into the GPS and mechanical loading, basically the forces that get expressed through your feet; how we define and measure those.

“We’re looking at technology that could measure that better, from there we’re looking to replicate rugby league match play in the lab, which is the best way to measure that, so if we can replicate that match play we’ll make a protocol to do that and we can measure those mechanical forces in the lab as well as on field, and then we can look at the mechanical load changes across a game.

Glassbrook has also been impressed with the Club’s rich history and pride. 

“I don’t just sit behind the computer all day, I get to be involved with everyone, the Club history is fantastic and it’s evident with the pride that comes with that, and whenever I interact with the players they’re well aware of that, and it’s great being involved with such a great Club."