How Data Analysis and Technology Affects the Rugby Union

Rugby union, or as most of us call it, just Rugby, is a contact sport that originated in England. The sport began its journey in the 1800s, and it has constantly been developing ever since. However, this sport was considered an amateur sport, that is, until the year 1995, when the restriction for paying the players was removed. This automatically meant that the Rugby union became a professional sport from that point on.

Together with this sport, the technology and analysis behind it started growing rapidly. New technology has been implemented, allowing the team to have a more detailed look at every segment of the game and achieve a better ranking, just like these bookmakers want the best ranking. The impact that these new implementations on the game is precisely the topic we will discuss in this article.

Video Analysis Technology

Video analysis was present since the first cameras started emerging. But at that point, it was just a video that coaches and staff would watch and comment on with players. The opportunity to let the players see their mistakes and know what they need to improve plays a big role in every sport. But the video analysis technology has grown a lot since its beginnings. So now we have a wide variety of software that can manually track certain segments of the game and use that footage to create datasets that can be analyzed later.

Tracking Gadgets

Almost every Rugby Union pro club uses tracking gadgets such as GPS trackers and heart rate monitors to track the movement of each player and monitor their current physical condition. These tracking gadgets play an important role in sports, and they were much improved over the previous years. Tracking gadgets allow coaches and staff to see the level of effort each player puts into practice or matches and help them stay healthy and also avoid injuries.

Technology That Ensures Players Well-Being

One of the more dangerous parts of rugby are concussions – brain injuries that temporarily affect brain functions. Concussions happen when the head suffers a direct blow after an abrupt contact with a player, object or ground – and it can lead to severe consequences and health problems.

Traditionally, the team’s doctors can only make an assessment of whether the player can continue playing based on the injured player’s honesty. As far as that is concerned, thanks to a remarkable breakthrough where they implemented impact sensors in gumshields, doctors can make accurate assessments. Having an impact sensor closer to the centre of the head means that the data shown is more reliable and gives a more accurate reading. Thanks to this technology, the chances of having an injured player with an undetected concussion have been lowered drastically.


Top-tier rugby clubs probably use a lot of devices mentioned earlier that help them see, record, and adapt to an individual player’s needs. On the other hand, overexposure to this type of technology and setting standards through statistics and analysis can have a negative impact on players and even whole teams sometimes. Some players will see the stats and data as a challenge and try to be even better. However, there are players that could experience the same thing in a completely different way, which could cause them to lose motivation.