For many years Megan has had the honour of working with the Tonga National Rugby Union team, nicknamed ʻIkale Tahi.
Like their Polynesian neighbours, the Tongans start their matches with a war dance – the Sipi Tau. They are members of the Pacific Islands Rugby Alliance along with Fiji and Samoa.
The Tongan Captain is called Siale Piutau
Home ground: Teufaiva Sport Stadium, Tonga (near New Zealand)
Head coach: Toutai Kefu
Since 2013 Megan has toured with the International team living and working with them for their International duties. As a senior physiotherapist, as well as the daily regime and training, it included running on the pitch for all the international games. In order to do this she did a yearly specialised qualification called ‘The Pitch Side Trauma Care Course’ organised and taught by England Rugby at The RFU and endorsed by The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh.
Megan was involved in every part of the Rugby players’ life while on tour with the team. Daily morning meetings assessing each player, setting up individualised rehabilitation and prehabilitation programmes. Injuries were treated with a variety of different modalities such as acupuncture and manipulation which is also used by osteopaths and chiropractors including direct thrust techniques. Myofascial release and deep massage would be performed by the physiotherapists and their team of massage therapists. This was invaluable in helping players to recover from playing and to treat delayed onset muscle soreness, also called muscle fever which is pain and stiffness felt several hours or days after performance or exercises.
Megan was instrumental in helping with the design of a computer programme which tracked the Rugby athlete’s recovery each day. This involved inputing players’ medical details before and after matches or training as well as pre and post-performance medical examination results. It also monitored concussion symptoms in any player.
Megan thoroughly enjoyed her time with the team, the highlight for her was the Rugby World Cup 2015 and running on the pitch for Tonga V New Zealand. The wonderful feeling of being a part of a Pacific Nation family is one she will treasure for the rest of her career.