Tom Meredith is a second-year BSc (Hons) Rugby Coaching and Performance student, who is working with Romania's national rugby team for the European Rugby Champions Cup, undertaking a performance analysis role. Tom talks about his work with the team and about the opportunities that have led him to this point.
What has your role, working with Romania's national rugby team, involved?
During the Rugby Europe Championship, I was providing the filming of training sessions for coaches. I helped to break clips of training down, for coaches to use, to show players during meetings. On game days, I provided a set up for coaches, including live tv feeds, from the broadcasters, and live coding of the game, so coaches can look at specific areas. Post-match, I provided coaches with coded timelines, clips and match performance dashboards. As we reviewed the performance, I helped coaches with footage, to show players in meetings. I also helped with opposition analysis, for teams we were playing.
How have you managed your work with the team and your studies?
I travel to Romania in blocks and keep in touch with my Level 5 academic studies, through the flexibility of ‘Blended Learning’. The Sports Staff at USW are incredible and facilitate my learning, at every turn, on several platforms.
What led you to your position working with the Romania team?
My Course Leader, Dean Parsons, and Performance Analysis Tutor, Alex Paval, provided me with exceptional opportunities from day one of the Rugby, Coaching and Performance degree. I completed over 2000 hours as an Analysis Intern, at Premiership Pontypridd RFC, in my first year. The experience provided a solid skill-set to take to the Canadian U20’s squad during the summer of 2019. The confidence I gained, from working in Canada, was the personal development I needed. It stood me in ‘good stead’ for when I joined the Romanian National senior Rugby Union Squad with Andy Robinson.
What do you love about performance analysis?
Performance analysis is becoming a crucial part of the professional multi-disciplinary game, of rugby union. From capturing training, working within coaching teams on match days, and dealing with the decision-makers, in terms of producing ‘big data’ sets, it all fascinates me, and it’s something I really want to do for a living. The opportunities at USW are phenomenal, just like the uniqueness of my Rugby Coaching & Performance course.