Rugby World Cup 2023: How Portugal Rugby Leverages Catapult Technology

The Ascendancy of Rugby in Portugal

Rugby might not be the first sport that comes to mind when thinking of Portugal, but their resilience and passion are undeniable. The nation’s inclusion in the Rugby World Cup 2023 is a testament to their dedication to the sport. Located in France, the competition will see the finest teams globally clashing for the esteemed title.

Portugal Rugby prepares for Rugby World Cup 2023

Objective Strength & Conditioning

Mika Dallery, Portugal Rugby’s Head of Athletic Performance, explained the driving force behind adopting Catapult. As they prepared for the RWC2023, they felt a pressing need for precision in strength and conditioning (S&C).

“Before our World Cup preparations, we only had access to top international teams’ data. The absence of actual GPS technology within the team was evident due to the lack of objectivity surrounding our decisions … Enter Catapult, the technology was introduced seamlessly into our processes, aided by a data scientist,” said Dallery.

The result? A triumphant qualification for the RWC2023, with Catapult as a staple in their day-to-day operations.

Portugal Rugby Coach looking at Catapult data, Rugby World Cup 2023

The Multifaceted Value of GPS Data

GPS technology offers a plethora of advantages. For Portugal Rugby, the reach of Catapult’s technology isn’t just limited to tracking movement.

Dallery highlights: “We are using GPS for everything: Live feedback, Injury risk prevention, Long-term planning, and Coach education. The technology’s adaptability has allowed the coaching staff to set tangible physical targets, facilitating synergy between coaching demands and player performance.”

Portugal Rugby Coach talking to players during RWC23 prep

Key Metrics and Competitive Advantage

For Portugal Rugby, three metrics stand paramount: running distance, high-speed running distance, and the count of accelerations/decelerations. 

“The goal is to maintain as long as possible the highest intensities during the game. Top Speed is also essential, not just in terms of injury risk but performance on the field,” said Dallery.

The focus on the latter two metrics underscores modern rugby’s demands: repeated high-intensity actions under fatigue. Top Speed, beyond just injury prevention, translates directly to on-field performance. With real-time data during training and matches, players are ever-aware, leading to heightened accountability.

Portugal Rugby practicing high ball kick catches, Rugby World Cup 2023

What’s Next for Portugal Rugby and GPS Data?

The journey with Catapult has only just begun. While the team has mastered certain metrics, the horizon beckons with more data points. The goal remains: assimilate only what is pertinent and beneficial.

With continuous monitoring, players are kept accountable, ensuring peak performance at all times. Dallery emphasises the increased responsibility, stating, “Players know what we expect from them, and they know that we are monitoring everything live, so they can’t hide.”

For the team behind the team, Catapult’s data isn’t just about numbers—it’s a decision-making tool. 

“Every technology should be used as a ‘decision help’,” shares Dallery. “We choose to use a few metrics, focusing intensely on them … the technology you adopt must be easy for both S&C and Rugby Coaches.”

Catapult Vector x RWC23

Catapult and the Rugby World Cup 2023 Landscape

With the Rugby World Cup 2023 slated to be held in France, anticipation is rife. Teams like Portugal are not alone; Catapult supports 8 of the twenty participating teams, showcasing its pivotal role in shaping modern rugby.

From athlete monitoring to deep dives into game strategies with Catapult Pro Video, the rugby solutions on offer are transformative. We wish all competing teams success at the RWC2023 tournament!

Catapult supports 8 teams at the Rugby World Cup 2023 in France

Catapult’s blend of technological prowess and intuitive solutions is not just about metrics; it’s about amplifying performance where it matters most – on the field. Portugal Rugby’s journey to and during the Rugby World Cup 2023 exemplifies this marriage of tech and talent. The game of rugby, today, is as much about the players’ grit as it is about the data-driven strategies propelling them forward. #UnleashPotential.

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