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Case Study - Crusaders win again!

The Crusaders win again! Another Super Rugby championship for HITIQ's client the Crusaders, ensuring they remain the most successful team in the competitions history.

Off the pitch, one of the most forward-thinking clubs in rugby took another step to enhance player welfare and performance.

Behind the scenes, the HITIQ Nexus system has been implemented across the first-team squad. The partnership sees players using HITIQ’s independently validated instrumented mouthguards.

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Across elite sports, data is key to understanding how to prepare and recover players with the aim of enhancing performance. The Crusaders, like many clubs, are always looking to improve their understanding to find a performance advantage. Video analysis, as well as GPS technology, is widespread in rugby. However, as stated by Crusaders Head of Performance - Gareth Duder, “those systems don’t allow for a real understanding of what is going on during contact”.

“We have tackle, ruck and maul counts, but this doesn’t give us the insight we want as to the intensity of these events. Data from the HITIQ Nexus system aims to help my team quantify players impact load. We can then adjust training and recovery stimulus/thresholds accordingly, which is absolute gold”.

"We have tackle, ruck and maul counts, but this doesn’t give us the insight we want as to the intensity of these events. Data from the HITIQ Nexus system aims to help my team quantify players impact load. We can then adjust training and recovery stimulus/thresholds accordingly, which is absolute gold”

Gareth Duder

Crusaders Head of Performance

Hamish Dewar - who is leading the HITIQ research within the Crusaders performance team, discusses how the data he is collecting aims to influence training methods. “The coaches and performance team are time-poor. Using the Nexus portal, it is easy to see impact loads and therefore what members of the squad need in terms of training or rest. I can relay these messages to the performance team after a game and create a plan for players to implement at the start of the next week."

This previously unavailable information provides significant insight into impact loads. Performance staff can now ensure that the number and size of impacts players are sustaining during different training drills is carefully managed.

“The coaches and performance team are time-poor. Using the Nexus portal, it is easy to see impact loads and therefore what members of the squad need in terms of training or rest."

Hamish Dewar

Crusaders PhD student

Video analysis has been used to help medical teams diagnose injury and inform treatment options within elite performance for some time. Using the HITIQ Nexus system the Crusaders medical team have access to enhanced data profiles which can be used to help assess, diagnose and manage impacts amongst players. As player data increases over time, the performance team will be able to provide medics with a clearer picture of each player via their load profiles. This will move towards allowing doctors to both assess impacts in more detail and examine impact loads in the weeks/days prior to any incidents.

Working together, HITIQ and the Crusaders aim to refine and enhance data interpretation to support both player performance and welfare, areas that the Crusaders see going hand in hand.

Find out more about the HITIQ Nexus system used by the Crusaders.