Every serious injury must be reported. This enables the Rugby Foundation to connect with the player and their whānau fast. Their immediate needs are the priority, during what can be a physically, emotionally, and financially draining time.

What is a serious injury?

  1. A head or spinal injury, or medical event (e.g. a heart attack) that results in the player being admitted to hospital

  2. An injury or medical event (e.g. a heart attack) that results in the death of a player during match play or rugby training

  3. An injury that may result in some permanent disability (e.g. loss of use of a limb, loss of an eye)

"The foundation is there to make sure despite a rugby injury, which is pretty damn sad, that we have the potential to live our life. If the foundation is able to assist, they are in boots and all.”

– Grant Sharman, a seriously injured player supported by New Zealand Rugby Foundation, injured in 1977

We are experts in our field and have since the inception of the Foundation, supported 114 seriously injured players, for the duration of their life. Our experience shows that each seriously injured player and the whānau that supports them is completely different, so we tailor what we provide and recognise that each person will need to access a range of resources, across their lifetimes.More than 140,000 registered rugby players of all ages and ethnicities safely play our national game every winter. 

We are the safety net for the unfortunate few who are seriously injured, providing immediate guidance, vital funding and a unified social network. We connect seriously injured players and their families with key services, short and long-term, to have a positive impact not only on the individual, but their whānau and wider community as well.

The type of support we provide includes legal assistance with trusts, deeds & wills, personal counselling, education, sports and arts, home and garden maintenance, business start-up assistance, technology and group activities.

We also provide expert advice regarding accessibility and modifications that may be required in response to SCI (spinal cord injury).

In a nutshell, we share the journey with our seriously injured team mates as their permanent support organisation to tailor support and resources that enhance and better their lives as much as possible.​​​​​​​

"They have given me lots of help, lots of assistance. Without them, it would have been a far greater struggle. They care about you and what your family has got to go through.”

– Ben Larson, a seriously injured player supported by New Zealand Rugby Foundation since 1999