THE Federation of Oceania Rugby Unions (FORU) hosted the region's leading rugby sports scientists and sports medicine experts that ended at the Tanoa International Hotel yesterday.
It is the first Sport Science Sport Medicine (SSSM) conference in the region dedicated to rugby.
Its establishment is the result of FORU's strategic partnership with Oceania National Committees (ONOC) and the International Rugby Board.
"Both ONOC and the IRB are committed to rolling out the latest educational programs in the important areas of sports science and sports medicine across Fiji and throughout the region," said IRB High Performance Manager (Asia Pacific) Peter Horne.
"The conference is a part of the IRB's ongoing investment in the region. From 2009 and 2012 the IRB invested nearly £16million (F$50,251,433) in Pacific Islands rugby. It is forecast that a further £19million (F$59,673,577) will be invested between 2013 and 2016 in rugby development, high-performance programs, regional tournaments, and education and training.
"An important part of this investment is the continued roll-out of best practice principles in sport science that have the aim of improving levels of performance through a variety of disciplines, such as conditioning, mental skills and nutrition. Hand in hand with this are the latest sports medicine protocols in areas such as injury and illness prevention."
The convener of the conference is the IRB's physical conditioning consultant and senior lecturer at Otago Polytechnic's Institute of Sport and Adventure, Matthew Blair.
The participating delegates are from Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga.