The Use of Microtechnology to Monitor Collision Performance in Professional Rugby Union

MacLeod, S. J.; Hagan, C.; EgaƱa, M.; Davis, J.; Drake, D.

The aim of this study was to investigate if microtechnology-derived collision loads could differentiate between collision performance outcomes and to compare the physical and analytical aspects of collision performance among different positional groups in professional male rugby union players.

Thirty-seven players participated in the study, and collision events from 11 competitive matches were analyzed. These events were classified based on specific tackle and carry outcomes of the ball-carrier, with collisions automatically detected using 10Hz microtechnology units. The collision events were further categorized as tackles or carries and timestamped at the point of collision using game analysis software.

The results showed that collision loads were significantly higher during dominant collisions compared to neutral and passive ones, as well as during tackles and carries. Forwards generally experienced a greater number and frequency of collisions but lower loads per collision and velocities at the collision point compared to backs.

Furthermore, microtechnology devices demonstrated high accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity in identifying collision events.

In conclusion, microtechnology is a valid method for discriminating between tackle and carry performance in rugby. Therefore, data derived from microtechnology-based collision loads can be effectively utilized to monitor and track collision events during both training sessions and matches.

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