Rugby World Cup 2011

Poms get RWC boost from F1

2011-08-02 18:04
Lewis Hamilton (File)

London - England's bid to win a second World Cup has been given a pitlane push by British Formula One team McLaren.

The team of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are lending Martin Johnson's side their best data analysts to pick over the players' personal GPS readings, all of which will enable the rugby team's management to tailor training sessions that will generate the best from each player.

England's association with McLaren is designed to give them a slight but potentially World Cup-winning advantage over their biggest rivals in New Zealand.

"If you think back to 2003, the greatest thing that Clive Woodward did was ensuring we were ahead of other people," explained England centre Mike Tindall who was a member of that winning side in Sydney eight years ago.

"Nowadays it's very hard. Everyone has caught up and is at the same level so you really are looking for that half a percent.

"The physical and conditioning guys are working with McLaren and trying everything they can to get that little bit more data and feedback.

"If we can continue to do that hopefully we will steal those half percents.

"We're making sure we hit the ground running and a lot of the training has been more rugby based. In 2003 it was just hit the line - run, run, run.

"It has been a lot different. They are looking at all the data from the GPS and heart rate monitors, trying to predict when people are in a zone to get injuries.

"They also see when people are working to an optimum level and making sure they don't go over the edge of that."

Johnson's coaching team borrowed the McLaren radios for last Thursday's trial match to see if they were better than their equipment.

"We are trying to feed off each other, learn off each other. They are looking at how we analyse our GPS and they are showing us how they analyse their stuff," added England's defence coach Mike Ford.

England, who lost in the final four years ago, begin their World Cup campaign on September 10 when they tackle Argentina in Dunedin.


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