Wairarapa-Bush physio Davide Castorina, standing far right, with the Wairarapa-Bush and Horowhenua-Kapiti teams. PHOTOS/SUPPLIED
Any player who gets injured training or playing for Wairarapa-Bush this season can rest assured they are in good hands.
Italian physiotherapist Davide Castorina will be pitch-side at every training session and match the team play this year, and it is safe to say he is well equipped to handle the job.
He has been a physio for rugby teams in Italy and New Zealand, and last year he looked after the New Zealand Under-19 team at the Jock Hobbs Memorial Tournament.
New Zealand Rugby has a pitch-side emergency care course and teams at national, Super Rugby and Mitre 10 Cup levels must have a person with their team who has completed the course.
This year, that applies to Heartland Championship teams as well.
Castorina attended the course in June, and said it was obvious how important it was.
“In the course, they cover how to look after different types of medical conditions or life-threatening injuries that can happen on the rugby field.
“The Wairarapa-Bush union and all the management team really embraced this by sending myself and my colleague Olivia Browne to this course and making sure we have all the required equipment available at Memorial Park, and when we travel away.”
Castorina first came to New Zealand 10 years ago and his wife, Te Ataahia, is from Masterton.
They moved back to Italy for some time, before returning to New Zealand about six years ago.
They spent the past five years living in Wellington before moving to Masterton at the start of this year.
Castorina said there were plenty of stark differences between his home town of Rome, and Masterton.
“It’s [Rome] great to visit but living there is crazy.
“Here is like heaven – everything is five or 10 minutes away and you can park anywhere, and there’s great parks and the sea is not too far away.”
Castorina plays for the Carterton senior reserve team and said he had always admired the rugby culture in New Zealand.
Football was quite easily the most popular sport in Italy, but he was always keen on the idea of working with rugby players.
“I always watched rugby in Italy and it’s so big here.
“This is my third season of playing and the culture in rugby is very social and fun.”
Not many club teams have a qualified medic they can call on during training or games, and Castorina said that was one of the big differences at the higher levels of the game.
He is now in a position where he can provide the Wairarapa-Bush team with the level of support they need at Heartland Championship level.
“Being personally equipped with the skills and the equipment required to enable the delivery of immediate care at the pitch side will help me keep the boys safe throughout the season,” he said.
“In Wairarapa, there’s only one or two clubs that have a pitch-side physio, and in Heartland rugby we aim to provide the best skills and equipment in the medic area.”