How the IRFU is hooking up the right data to create champions

The head of analytics and innovation at the IRFU says there can be five different technologies connected to a player and knowing what data is important and what’s not is key

Ireland's Cian Prendergast and Italy's Niccolo Cannone. Technologies used by the IRFU to gather data and optimise performance include chips in the player’s gumshield and the rugby ball and GPS in a player’s vest. Picture: INPHO

The biggest challenge with the use of data in sport is to get rid of information that does not matter, according to Vinny Hammond, the IRFU’s head of analytics and innovation.

Hammond’s face, if not his name, will be recognisable to most rugby fans as he is often pictured during television coverage as the man to the left of Andy Farrell.

As the players work on their final physical and tactical preparations, Hammond is busy ...