Five Ways That Rugby Has Changed in the Past Decade
Rugby is an incredibly popular sport the world over, and it’s also one that’s changed with the times. There are few other sports that have embraced technology in the way that rugby has, and many of the spheres that have shifted are as a direct result of state of the art software, devices and programs designed to ensure players perform at their optimum.
Introduction of GPS
GPS technology is used by a number of sportsmen and in 2010 the Bradford Bulls became the first rugby team to utilise GPS tracking to collect and collate data from players. GPS sensors have been sewn into players tops and relayed data such as where players were on the pitch and how their heart rate responded. This data was then used to assess the physical demands of a match or training session.
There’s no denying that players are getting bigger and that today’s rugby stars spend as much time in the gym as they do on the field. Whereas previously larger players such as Jonah Lomu were the exception, now they are the rule and even those who play on the wing have bulked up.
Injuries are also being taken more seriously, with mandatory rules for concussion being introduced by the RFU in an effort to highlight how serious a head injury can be. Prevention, treatment and cure are all factors that players and coaches have to be well versed in, and injuries are addressed immediately, especially if skin has been broken and blood is involved.
The way a scrum plays out has been changed completely due to engagement instructions now issued by referees. What was once a simple way to restart a game and regroup is now filled with instructions from refs that if not followed, lead to another reset. A rugby drill video such as those available at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/ clearly illustrates how the scrum has changed and become far more structured.
Rugby has also seen a spate of younger players take to the field and professional sportsmen are now just out of their teens, rather than in their mid to late 20s. In the past, players started a top-level professional career at around 26, but now players of as young as 19 are competing at a national level.