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CurraNZ improves dynamic agility and sprint times in Rugby Union players

on December 14, 2022

A new study1 has shown that anthocyanin-rich CurraNZ can improve performance relating to dynamic speed and agility in Rugby Union players.

Study synopsis:

This study shows for the first time how blackcurrant can improve dynamic performance tasks, but not strength or power, in a series of rugby-specific tests. The findings also have implications for other team-based running sports such as football, hockey and basketball.

Thirteen University and Club-level Rugby Union players were assessed following a week’s supplementation of 600mg CurraNZ blackcurrant extract, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised crossover study design.

The male participants executed a running-based anaerobic sprint test, the Illinois Agility test, seated medicine ball (3kg) throw and hand grip strength task.

Findings showed that CurraNZ:

  • Increased average 35m sprint time 1.7%
  • 9 out of 13 participants improved their sprint times by an average of 3.3%*
  • Improved agility on an average 1.6%
  • 9 out 13 participants had improved agility by an average of 3.1%*
  • Did not improve handgrip strength or medicine ball throw distance

*Data from personal communication with Professor Willems.

In repeated sprint tests, a performance improvement above 1.8% is considered a meaningful change. 


  1. Effects of anthocyanin-rich New Zealand blackcurrant extract on Rugby Union specific tests, JISSN, Florida, June 2022. P Burnett, M Willems.
  2. Effect of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Performance during the Running Based Anaerobic Sprint Test in Trained Youth and Recreationally Active Male Football Players. C Godwin, Matthew D. Cook and Mark E. T. Willems. Sports 2017, 5(3), 69;
  3. Effect of New Zealand blackcurrant extract on performance during the running based anaerobic sprint test in trained youth and recreationally active male football players. Sports 5, 69, 2017. doi:10.3390/sports5030069.