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SA Rugby has increased its commitment to player welfare and continued its efforts to simultaneously maximise player performance by partnering with leading USA sports science technology company, Kitman Labs.

SA Rugby has reached an agreement with California-based Kitman Labs to provide analytics with the aim to reduce injury incidence and promote player performance, as an enhancement at the elite end of the game.

This is a timely addition, following the success of the ongoing BokSmart Rugby Safety Programme since its official introduction almost seven years ago.

Kitman Labs’ Athlete Optimisation System (AOS) will be rolled out to the Springboks, the Junior Springboks, Springbok Sevens, Women’s Sevens teams, and across its Elite Player Development programmes.“Kitman Labs will provide us with an easy-to-use tool to collect and store all the screening, injury, illness and workload data from across the organisation in one central depository,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“We are able to collect data from each of our players before they even come into camp, then put it to work immediately. Research has shown that teams with fewer injuries have an increased chance of winning.

“This type of ‘second generation’ solution enables the team medical and conditioning staff to identify players potentially at risk, and then work with those players individually to reach peak performance ability and to reduce their associated injury risk.”

Stephen Smith, CEO and Founder of Kitman Labs, said: “This is the second time a governing body has adopted our entire product suite across multiple teams. Last year we established a similar partnership with the IRFU and feedback has been fantastic.

“SA Rugby recognizes the need for a quick and simple way to look at and analyse all of their players’ data in one place. We look forward to working with SA Rugby and helping them to remain one of the most advanced and innovative sporting bodies in the world.”

Kitman Labs has agreements around the world, with amongst others Bath and Gloucester rugby clubs in England, Barclays Premier League’s Norwich City and Everton, the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, the MLS’ Seattle Sounders and the NBA’s Detroit Pistons.

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