How Bath Rugby scored using hi-tech tactics
12 July 2015
Formed in 1865, Bath Rugby, one of the oldest professional rugby clubs in England, are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year. Throughout the 80s and 90s the club were renowned for their world-class players and multiple league and cup titles.
In 2015, Bath Rugby are stronger than ever. Within a matter of two seasons, they have risen to become one of the most feared teams in club rugby, bolstered by the world-class facilities at Farleigh House. The club’s tradition of fielding talented players renowned for their thrilling brand of play continues to this day.
Part of this renewed success has been achieved by investing in technology to help improve the club’s performance. Bath Rugby engaged Getronics, ICT services provider, to act as their performance analysis partner and to facilitate the technology that would be a key enabler in driving Bath Rugby towards the goal of becoming the best rugby club in Europe.
Matt Powell, business development director at Bath Rugby, says: “Technology is important across the whole business. Crucially, it allows us to analyse players to recruit, to look at the players’ nutrition, diets, strength and conditioning, and to review their medical assessments and rehab.
“We analyse huge amounts of data, generally focused on performance. Naturally, we will be analysing training, as well as team and individual performance. However, we will also analyse the opposition. There are 12 clubs in this league and they are all trying to win the championship – everybody is trying to look for that edge.”
Players can look at how they have performed immediately after training or a game, and coaches can provide feedback on their performance and use it to develop the game plan. Stuart Hooper, club captain of Bath Rugby, says: “The professional rugby environment is fast-paced, but the technology provided to us by Getronics allows us to analyse all facets of the game wherever we are and at our own convenience. As a player, that’s invaluable.”
All rugby staff and players have an iPad which they can use anywhere, at any time, to execute performance analysis. Making performance analysis mobile has not only unified the club through creating a one-team mentality, but also allowed the players to take complete ownership of their performance and become increasingly involved in the strategic development of the game plan.
Powell says: “If a player is travelling to a game, they may decide to log in and start to look at footage of the team or the individual they are coming up against to look for trends.
“Ensuring players take ownership of their own performance and role in the game plan enables them to become leaders on the field. It gives them the ability to adapt, because if things are not going their way during the game they need not look to the coaches on the sideline to understand why the tactics are not working.”
The partnership and relationship between Bath Rugby and Getronics has proved successful, and discussions are in place for Getronics to act as a strategic partner to Bath Rugby, designing, implementing and supporting the IT infrastructure that will look to meet the club’s requirements today and in the future. Getronics will look to provide a solution to deliver IT that can berelied upon – supporting Bath Rugby’s day-to-day business operations – as well as acting as a key enabler in supporting important initiatives to grow the club and drive them towards their primary objective of excellence both on and off the pitch.
Mark Cook, group CEO of Getronics, comments: “With a young and exciting team, Bath Rugby have set their sights high and we are very proud to be a partner of the club. Their investment in technology and strategic partnership with Getronics is a positive step in pursuing their goal of becoming the most successful rugby club in Europe, and there is every chance that the team will be winning silverware again soon.”