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Australian National Rugby League: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Rich spoils

Issue 01/2020

What do eagles have in common with rugby league players? Both like to make rich pickings. And it doesn’t have to be the ball: The Manly Warringah Sea Eagles recently piled into the Bauerfeind flagship store in Sydney. Their prey: Supports, orthoses and compression stockings.

You have to be quick to catch your prey. In nature, on the pitch and during rehabilitation. James Rahme, Head Physiotherapist of the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, a rugby league club steeped in tradition from Sydney, knows this all too well. The Sea Eagles, who have won the National Rugby League (NRL) several times, have some of the best players in the country and, therefore, the world. Short recovery times after injuries are crucial to assert your dominance at the top. It makes a huge difference to James Rahme whether an injured player has to sit out for five weeks or five months. “Rugby league means full body contact. As a result , the shoulder, knee or ankle can suffer,” says the physiotherapist , summarising critical regions of the body. It’s crucial that the best forwards and backs – which are the players’ positions – can quickly get back into scrums and tackles. “There isn’t an extensive squad in rugby league. It’s difficult to replace top injured players with equal talent. And the season is pretty long.”

Visiting Walid Yassine and the Bauerfeind flagship store in Sydney; Bauerfeind knee orthoses were a main talking point.

Happy pros in the flagship store

The rugby league season in Australia will start again in early March. Then the entire continent will indulge in its beloved national sport. Healing all the bruising, sprains and dislocations has to be quick, which leaves James Rahme with his hands full until the season begins. It was a good job then that his Sea Eagles have already pulled in a good catch – “stockpiling” for the new season: The MalleoTrain Plus with medical grade compression and MalleoLoc for the ankle, various GenuTrain P3 knee compression sleeves for dislocated knees, stabilizing SecuTec Genu knee orthoses and compression stockings for quick regeneration. Conveniently, there’s a Bauerfeind flagship store not far from the Club’s home town in the center of Sydney CBD. When the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles came to stock up, Walid Yassine, Managing Director of Bauerfeind Australia, could hardly believe his eyes: “It was funny seeing these burly men, including some of the best-known rugby league players in the world, wearing our products and filled with wonder. They never wanted to put them down again.” Take the MalleoTrain Plus compression ankle sleeve, for example. “It’s simply magical ,” one of the players said after he tried it. “I already feel really confident with it.”

How Eagles are measured

The visit to the flagship store was no coincidence: James Rahme got a tip that Bauerfeind would now be offering its high-quality products in Sydney. An initial one hour visit turned into four. Walid also demonstrated to James how Bauerfeind’s Bodytronic 600 digital measurement system works. All the relevant body measurements were taken for his Eagles’ individual products. “It’s my job to keep an eye on all the developments and products that can help my players – and when I’m convinced – to use them,” the physiotherapist says. Before James Rahme started his job with the Sea Eagles, he worked for other professional sports clubs as well as for a tactical police unit. In addition to the Eagles’ physiotherapy care, he coordinates all medical tasks with team physicians and the coach. His verdict after visiting the store was clear: Do it!

Quickly back into action with MalleoTrain Plus

This is how the first official partnership between an NRL Club and Bauerfeind came about. No sooner had cooperation begun than a record was achieved: “One of our best players, Daly Cherry-Evans, wore the MalleoTrain Plus and compression stockings after a serious syndesmosis injury that was followed by surgery,” James Rahme reports. “After a mere five weeks and two days, he was back. I don’t know if he slept in it or what… But his comeback was one of the fastest ever in rugby league after such an injury. Usually, it’s six to eight weeks,” James comments with audible pride. Colleagues from other Clubs rang him to find out about this “miracle cure” that’s so reliable. But that wasn’t a one-off; the products keep their promises. “If I want to stabilise a knee at a certain angle, for example with the SecuTec Genu, I can be sure that the selected 30 degrees are really 30 degrees. Nothing will budge. The best product is the one that will achieve the goals you want to reach.”

“The best product is the one that will achieve the goals you want to reach.”
James Rahme

Obvious compression and comfort

James Rahme sees ankle injuries including syndesmosis lesions (“high ankle sprains”) as the most common injury in rugby league. They are primarily responsible for his players having to sit out for long periods. “That’s why I’m a huge fan of the MalleoTrain Plus,” he confesses. In addition to strengthening proprioception and the support’s comfort , he likes the knitted fabric’s compression for reducing swelling after surgery. As a true team player, the Head Physiotherapist listens to his players and trusts their judgment. “They know their bodies best and how they respond to medical products. A lot of false positive reports are going around about the properties of other products. With Bauerfeind, however, the evidence is confirmed.”

Images: Elie Azzi/iStyle photography


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