Catapult Group International (ASX:CAT, “Catapult” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce Rugby Australia has renewed its union-wide performance partnership with Catapult and expanded it to include Catapult’s new Vector technology. The latest Vector platform focuses on optimising athlete performance, mitigating injury risk and supporting return to play processes and will be deployed across all Australian representative teams, Super Rugby franchises, academies and match officials.
The renewal sees Catapult and Rugby Australia’s partnership extend beyond 12 years, since GPSports first agreed a contract with the Wallabies in 2006. The new agreement commenced with the Wallabies wearing the new Vector devices during their 2019 Rugby World Cup campaign in Japan.
The technologies were tested both indoors and outdoors, and Vector provides a single, reliable platform to move seamlessly between these environments in a single session. Catapult’s leading athlete monitoring technologies and broad service offering have proven to be highly effective and valuable in supporting preparation and performance at the highest level.
As well as providing Vector devices to the senior men’s and women’s international squads, the agreement will see the technology platform used across all representative teams, including the Junior Wallabies, Australian U18s, and Rugby Sevens squads.
At provincial level, the four Australian Super Rugby franchises (Brumbies, Rebels, Waratahs and Reds) will use the technology with their men’s, women’s and academy squads. The system will also be used to monitor the physical performance of match officials across elite rugby union in Australia.
Rugby Australia Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson said: “We are proud to continue our work with an Australian organisation that is leading the way in athlete performance technology.
“This is a genuine partnership with an aligned purpose and desire to enable our teams at all levels to have the capability of winning consistently.”
Speaking about the agreement between Rugby Australia and Catapult, Dr. Adir Shiffman, Executive Chairman of Catapult, said: “We are delighted to renew our partnership with Rugby Australia for another term, and expand the scope of our work together. Rugby Australia and Catapult share the same values of excellence and innovation, and we are excited to continue working together to drive the development of athlete monitoring and performance science in rugby union.
The landmark deal comes as Catapult announces the launch of its all-new Rugby Suite, a unique set of algorithms engineered to identify and measure key technical and physical events specific to Rugby Union. Developed in conjunction with Saracens, Scottish Rugby Union, Fédération Française de Rugby, and Wales Rugby, the Rugby Suite leverages the inertial sensors within Catapult wearable devices to automatically detect scrums, kicks, contact involvements, and Back In Game (BIG) time – the time it takes for a player to return to play following contact, which is an invaluable insight for rugby coaches.
New Catapult CEO, Will Lopes, who joins the company from a senior executive role at Amazon Audible, is excited by the authentic connection between an innovative sporting code and a local innovative company.
“It’s fantastic that in my first few days at Catapult we are able to announce such an exciting partnership with the ARU. As the global market leader we are the logical partner for leagues around the world. Catapult is only just beginning to realise our potential, and this is what excites me about the opportunity we have ahead of us over the coming years.”