Planet Rugby

'Tahs go high-tech to predict injuries

27th November 2013 08:39

Share:

Tatafu Polata Nau and George Smith Waratahs v Brumbies 2013

Technological boost for Waratahs in quest to predict injuries

The Waratahs will be using predictive analytics technologies to reduce player injuries as part of their quest to win 2014's Super Rugby competition.

An Australian-first, the long-term predictive analysis project comes as IBM signs a new two-year agreement to be the club's Technology Partner, extending the relationship between the two parties to nine years.

The technology is being used by the Waratahs to inform decisions regarding player training load, enabling the training and coaching staff to "predict and act rather than sense and react" so that they can field the best possible team throughout the season.

The analysis predicts the likelihood of a particular player being injured, which then enables the coaching team to adapt and modify each player's personalised training program to maximise their training load and minimise their risk of being injured.

Statistics currently show that rugby players miss an average 2.15 games per season and Waratahs Athletic Development Manager Haydn Masters wants to lower that number.

"The aim of our strength and conditioning program is to improve athletic performance and increase injury resilience to ensure players spend the most amount of time possible on the field," he told the Waratahs' official website.

"IBM's predictive analytics technology gives us a very objective, sensitive and reliable measure of predicting each player's limit and their injury risk and allowing us to modify training accordingly."

The Waratahs collect player data from a range of sources to build a clear picture of each individual player's welfare and performance. This includes a GPS tracker fitted to each player to measure and monitor intensity levels, collisions, and fatigue during training and matches.

The GPS data is then is combined with medical data, wellness data and player data, and over a period of time, clear patterns and early warning signs start to emerge.

The long-term project for predictive insights will provide the Waratahs with a critical opportunity to anticipate an injury and change the variables, such as modifying the training regime or resting a player, to reduce the chance of injury.

Masters added, "At the moment we collect between 100 and 250 variables per player per week from GPS data, medical screenings and wellness reports. IBM's system allows us to collate and analyse all these variables, which in turn helps us to best manage each player and, over time, build an accurate picture of what to look for individual players (and future players) and positions, in terms of predicting injury risk."

  • Super Rugby Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Friday , April 18
Hurricanes vs Blues19:35
Melbourne Rebels vs Western Force19:40
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs Crusaders19:35
Waratahs vs Bulls19:00
Sharks vs Cheetahs15:00
Stormers vs Lions17:05
Friday , April 25
Blues vs Waratahs17:35
Brumbies vs Chiefs17:40
Sharks vs Highlanders19:10
Saturday , April 26
Hurricanes vs Reds19:35
More Super Rugby fixtures
  • Super Rugby Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 12
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Friday , April 11
Highlanders 27 - 20 BullsHighlanders vs Bulls Report
Reds 20 - 23 BrumbiesReds vs Brumbies Report
Saturday , April 5
Hurricanes 25 - 20 BullsHurricanes vs Bulls Report
Reds 29 - 32 Western ForceReds vs Western Force Report
Cheetahs 43 - 43 ChiefsCheetahs vs Chiefs Report
Stormers 11 - 22 WaratahsStormers vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
  • Super Rugby Table
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks727
2Brumbies825
3Chiefs724
4Western Force722
5Waratahs720
6Highlanders719
7Crusaders718
8Bulls818
9Lions816
10Hurricanes716
11Blues716
12Reds816
13Melbourne Rebels712
14Cheetahs89
15Stormers76
Australian Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Brumbies825
2Western Force722
3Waratahs720
4Reds815
5Melbourne Rebels712
New Zealand Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Chiefs724
2Crusaders718
3Hurricanes716
4Blues716
5Highlanders615
South African Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks727
2Bulls717
3Lions816
4Cheetahs89
5Stormers66