Western Force have employed fitness guru David Joyce to arrest an alarming streak that affected their performances this year.
The club was hit by a horror run of injuries, losing 12 players for six or more Super Rugby matches, prompting them to recruit Joyce, the Chinese Olympic team chief physiotherapist and performance specialist.
Joyce has also worked with English Super League side Hull, Turkish soccer club Galatasaray, English side Blackburn Rovers, the Great Britain Olympic team and English rugby premiership club Saracens. While at Galatasaray he designed a program for injury-blighted Socceroos star Harry Kewell that allowed him to increase the number of games he played.
The Force already have a third of the squad returning from injury and post-season surgery and coach Michael Foley said Joyce would play an integral role in balancing the demands on players.
"David's appointment is a critical one for us. The simple equation is we need to prevent injuries to keep our best side on the field," Foley said.
"It's always a delicate balance between pushing players physically while ensuring they don't break, which is something that David has a great deal of top-level experience in.
"If we're serious about relaunching this side, one of the fundamental steps is limiting the number of injuries and putting the systems into place to ensure our players are injury-free and continually available.
"He'll be monitoring loads and red flag any potential candidates for injuries, as well as assisting those on their way back from injury with a fast yet thorough recovery."Collision injuries are inevitable, however we need to ensure we're limiting the impact injuries have on the squad."
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