When major events such as the World Cup, Six Nations or the British and Irish Lions are touring the subcontinent, rugby mania sweeps the nation.
With the final weekend of this year’s Six Nations upon us, we’ve taken a look at four exciting brands that are some of the biggest driving forces behind innovation in rugby, as they aim to optimise performance and create a safer game for all athletes involved.
TackleLow was created by James Sheridan with the next generation of rugby players in mind. After being a mini rugby coach and having two rugby playing sons, he created a range of products aimed at helping children to develop their tackling technique safely.
The first product is the freestanding TackleLow tackle bag. Size-specific depending on the age group (under-six, under-eight, under-10, or under-12), they have a defined coloured target area which is at waist height so the children playing have a clear idea where to aim for. The bag successfully eliminates any distractions as no one needs to hold them upright. It also means the coach can easily observe what’s going on.
The next step is the training bib, which has the same defined area where the tackle should be made. The transition allows children to take what they learnt from the bag directly into the game itself, a process which promotes safe tackling – reducing the chances of injury.
Created by elite sports coach Richie Gray, GSI specializes in technical training equipment for Rugby League, Rugby Union and American Football. Not only does it increase performance levels, but in turn is effective in preventing injury.
‘The Collision King’ is the star of the show. Quoted as being ‘the biggest breakthrough in rugby training for years’ by Jim Telfer, coach to Scotland and The British & Irish Lions, it is a machine designed to assist coaches and players develop the best technique when it comes to collisions and breakdowns, one of the most important aspects of the game.
It is now manufactured and distributed by Rhino Rugby to international, professional and club sides worldwide.
Acquired by global digital rugby publisher RugbyPass last year, Rugby Analytics uses data capture and visualisation techniques to allow coaches and players to analyse performance. Tracking more than 12,000 data points per game, their system then sequences the raw data to ‘metrics that matter.’ This granular approach means teams can really see what is working – and what’s not – creating a more successful play.
22 professional teams rely on Rugby Analytics for their data, and South African rugby union team Blue Bulls cited the platform as ‘instrumental’ in their first victory in 15 years at the Currie Cup.
Founded in 2016, Sports & Wellbeing Analytics (SWA) is a Welsh-based company that has developed cutting-edge technology to measure impacts to an athlete’s head.
Their intelligent mouthguard surveillance system tracks the intensity of a collision during play, allowing coaches and medics to receive precise, real-time information, so they can make quick decisions around what actions needs to be taken.
Their Protecht solution is now used at a number of clubs including Harlequins, Leicester Tigers, Gloucester Rugby and Ospreys.
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