A Week with Gloucester Rugby

By Duncan Ritchie

01-April-2020 on News

8 minute read

With a long and distinguished history, Gloucester Rugby is one of England’s oldest surviving Rugby Union clubs currently playing in Gallagher Premiership, the top-flight of domestic rugby in England. They are also Nacsport users.


A few weeks ago, a representative from Nacsport visited Gloucester Rugby to shadow the analysis team, Darren Lewis, Tom Reynolds, Patrick McCann and George Edwards, to witness first-hand how our software is used by the club.


In this article, we’re going to show you how Gloucester employs video analysis in three distinct situations: match day, post-match and training.

Match Day


A typical match day for Gloucester’s analysis team starts while the stadium is still empty. Two hours before kick-off, the team arrive at the venue to prepare for the day.




The first step is to ensure that all the cameras are connected and feeding live into the coaching booth. They use IP streams to distribute four different camera feeds to provide different angles of action for in-game analysis.



The next step is to boot up Nacsport. The analysis team uses two laptops, each with Nacsport Elite installed. Registering and data collection is carried out on one, with another layer of detail added by the second, in turn all the collected data is pulled into one computer in order to provide information for the live dashboard, CoachStations and half-time analysis.



Video tagging is done utilising Nacsport’s delayed feed feature, which gives them additional time to tag actions and get the descriptors right. This also allows registration to be done as close to real-time as possible, ensuring the live and interactive dashboard is a true representation of what is happening in the game at any moment.



During the match, Gloucester has a network of computers with Nacsport CoachStation installed to provide the coaching staff with real-time analytical information.


Two laptops, each with CoachStation go to the backroom and a CoachStation enabled Microsoft Surface tablet goes to the bench which receives information and video wirelessly for coaches on the touchline. Coachstation allows each coach to independently review footage and statistical data whenever they want. They can see what’s working and change tactics accordingly.



At the end of the game, all the video and data collected during the game, 4 video feeds and two or three databases, will be compiled onto one computer, ready for analysis and distribution to coaches so they can carry out their own analysis using various workflows.




For the players, post-match analysis usually begins early doors on the Monday following a game. But the analysis team has already been working hard over the weekend, collecting a third layer of detailed information over the weekend and creating video presentations in preparation for debriefings with coaches and players.


The analysis suite at Gloucester’s training facility has 10 PCs all running Nacsport Viewer, which allows players access to the analysts’ videos and presentations along with a catalogue of historical footage. They can review actions or check statistical data on personalised dashboards, but, as Viewer is a read-only program, they cannot change it. All the computers are connected to the same server, so they all share the same data.



Darren and Tom arrive at the training centre at around 06:00 and start uploading all the videos, data and additional analysis they may have done to the servers, ready for the players to pick up when they arrive.


Players begin arriving around 07:00 and start reviewing the game at their own pace and, although Nacsport Viewer is primarily read only, they can create their own presentations from a single database if they want to. They may check their own performance or that of the entire team. This is a social time with players discussing and sharing their insights from the previous match.


At 8:30 the analytical team start holding meetings with individual players. This is usually because the player had previously asked the team to look at a specific aspect of their game and this is where they receive the appropriate feedback. Players are extremely active in the analysis process and even occasionally prepare their own presentations using Nacsport Viewer.



Later in the day comes a series of meetings. First, informed post-match analyses, the coaching staff and analysis team meet in order to finalise the training schedule for the week ahead and discuss crucial lessons learned from the previous performance. As a team, the players and coaches have three separate meetings, one for the forwards, one for the back line and another for the entire team.


Gloucester Rugby


During the rest of the week, the analysts will concentrate on scouting out opponents to inform future strategy and training. They will also be present at Gloucester’s training sessions.




All aspects of Gloucester’s game are analysed. Along with matches, all training sessions are monitored and given the same level of analysis and distribution. This gives coaches and players a thorough understanding of their game and allows them to improve their strategy.


During training sessions, Darren and Tom use Nacsport with IP cameras which they control by remote control alongside with several pitch side cameras. This allows them to get a stacked view of the entire field of play.


Post-session, videos and data will be immediately uploaded to the training room and the whole process starts again until match day rolls around once more.


Thank You, Gloucester Rugby


So, there you have it. A top-line overview of a week in the life of an analysis team at a professional rugby union club.


There can be little doubt that Gloucester has an amazing set up and are maximising the tools available to them in their Nacsport software, and we at Nacsport are proud to have them in our growing family.


We’d like thank Darren, Tom, Patrick and George for letting us into the inner workings of the analytical department and everybody at Gloucester for letting us be a part of their club. We are excited to continue developing our relationship.




Special mention must go to Head of Performance Analysis, Darren Lewis, for his help and input in the writing of this article.


Read More About Gloucester's Relationship with Nacsport, Part 1


Read More About Gloucester's Relationship with Nacsport, Part 2


Could this type of set up could be beneficial for your club? We’d be glad to help you every step of the way. Take the first step. To get more information on Nacsport products or simply to have a conversation about your video analysis needs, contact us today at info@nacsport.com.


We’re here to help!


Click Here for a FREE Trial of Any Nacsport Product


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