High Performance Practitioner Interview: Professor Craig Twist

Craig Twist

Our latest High Performance Practitioner interview sees Chris Barnes in discussion with Professor Craig Twist, applied sport and exercise scientist at the University of Chester.

Craig’s research focuses on the applied physiology or rugby and the effect exercise-induced muscle damage has on human performance. He also maintains an active involvement in applied sports science, working in professional rugby league and alongside the England Touch Association.

During their discussion, Chris and Craig covered a broad range of topics related to Craig’s work, including:

  • Craig’s professional background and his role at the University of Chester (00:45)
  • The culture within the applied research group at the University of Chester (01:55)
  • Craig's interest in rugby league and his association with the sport (03:05)
  • The willingness to experience with sports science practice in rugby league (06:00)
  • Balancing academic aims and the aims of clubs to create work that impacts the sport (07:27)
  • Examples of some of the work Craig has undertaken to impact practice in rugby league (08:49)
  • How to collect data in a sensitive way and ensure that it has meaning when applied in practice (11:05)
  • How Craig tries to ensure that students are fully equipped with both the scientific and social skills required to work in clubs (13:14)
  • What are the key performance questions in rugby league? (15:55)
  • In sports science terms, what is English rugby league lacking in comparison to the game in Australia? (19:10)
  • Is there scope for rugby league participation numbers to rise? (22:00)
  • What are the main technical challenges for players to switch codes in rugby? (25:28)
  • How would Craig invest in rugby league research if he had a blank cheque? (29:09)

Interested in seeing more HPP interviews? You can find them all on the Catapult YouTube channel.