Tom’s worked with the Canadian Under 20’s, for their World Trophy qualification tests

Tom Meredith

Second-year BSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and Performance student, Tom Meredith has had incredible opportunities through his studies. These include working with the Canadian Under 20’s team for their World Trophy qualification tests.

“Towards the end of my first year Gethin Watts, a coaching consultant for the Canadian Under 20’s international team, approached the University for help with analysis for their qualification tests towards the World Trophy. Dean Parsons, the Course Leader, recommended me to the team for this role, and following a brief meeting with them, I flew out to Canada, where I was responsible for undertaking the analysis.

The visit to Canada was a success as the team won all their games. This opportunity was only something I could have dreamt of before starting the course. The networking opportunities were unbelievable. From undertaking this role, I now know I want to be an analyst for a top-quality team.

When I was younger, I loved playing rugby, but following an injury, I was no longer able to play. Still passionate about the sport and wanting a career in it, I decided to study the BSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and Performance. The course prepares you for different career pathways, covering all angles of the game from coaching, performance analysis, strength and conditioning and PE teaching. Also, you don’t need to be actively playing rugby to study it.

During my first year, I undertook a placement at the Welsh Premiership team, Pontypridd RFC. I filmed their games and captured their training sessions, and through the experience, I was able to up-skill, which was noticed by the team. As a result, they increased my responsibility, so I also started coding games and producing reports. Throughout the year, I undertook 2000 hours of work, which was fantastic.

The analysis rooms at the USW Sports Park have all the software you need for coding games and playing videos back. You also have Connect2 which gives you access to the footage of the indoor 3G pitch, so you're able to provide feedback on the teams who have played. These facilities helped to shape my love of analysis.

My experience at USW has been phenomenal as I’ve had fantastic opportunities, and these have been through the support of the teaching staff and the incredible industry contacts they have. In particular, Dean Parsons has been outstanding, always pushing me to succeed, and I’m excited for what the next year will bring.”