The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) has announced a new partnership with sports technology firm STATSports.
The deal will see the company provide Ireland’s national rugby union team with its GPS tracking and performance monitoring devices. The agreement also covers the country’s women’s, under-20 and representative teams, as well as all four Irish provinces.
The company’s Apex monitoring devices will track players during games and training in order to provide data to coaching, athletic performance and medical staff.
STATSports, which is based in County Down in Northern Ireland, has also added Irish teams Leinster and Munster to its client list, which already includes Irish Ulster and Connacht, as well as 20 other major clubs.
“We are delighted to have STATSports as the official provider of GPS player tracking devices for Irish rugby,” said Nick Winkelman, the IRFU’s head of performance and science. “Having tested existing solutions on the market, it was clear that STATSports was a world-class business with a world-leading performance analysis solution in the Apex unit.
“In high-performance sport, and particularly in an environment where player welfare is a key priority, it is a necessity for our provinces and representative teams to have access to quality data that can inform and shape performance, recovery and injury prevention.”
Sean O’Connor, STATSports chief commercial officer and co-founder, added: “Having all four provinces using our revolutionary Apex device is huge for us at STATSports. We are proud to offer a world class product to not only the national team but all four provincial teams throughout Ireland who compete at the highest level of club rugby in Europe. Plus, with STATSports being founded in the island of Ireland, it is even more significant.”
The news comes ahead of the opening weekend of this year’s Six Nations Championship. Ireland kick off the six-week competition away to France on Saturday.