Falvey leaves role as Ireland team doctor
Dr Éanna Falvey has left his position as the Ireland national team doctor after six years in the role. However, the Cork native will remain with the IRFU by taking up a senior research advisory role within the union.
The departure of the influential team doctor means a further reshuffle for head coach Joe Schmidt, who is currently reshaping his backroom team after losing defence coach Les Kiss to Ulster.
The New Zealander hopes to have his new-look team in place early in the new year ahead of the Six Nations. Falvey took over as the team doctor under Declan Kidney after previously working with Munster. He has recently been appointed as a senior lecturer in Sports and Exercise Medicine at University College Cork.
He is also the director of sports medicine at the Santry Sports Clinic and will continue to advise the union on clinical matters where needed. However, having completed his PhD in 2014, his main focus is now on research around injury and illness in rugby players in Ireland.
"It's an area that's evolving," he said. "Concussion is just one of the injuries that rugby players get and it's one that gets an awful lot of publicity around it, but in terms of what people are exposed to and at risk of, there are injuries that people are at risk of.
"I've been on a World Rugby multi-disciplinary group where there are two international coaches, I was the representative of team doctors and the players unions are involved and we're all invited to give our ideas as to what the areas of rugby are that can be looked at more closely and potentially something can be done with. It is about making a scientific decision around injuries rather than being reactive."
In a statement, the IRFU said it "recognises the importance of advancing research into player safety and welfare and the proposed research strategy will include an number of important projects in 2016 and beyond".