Inside the tech boxes that run Wallaby training

Wallaby Coaching box
Can technology help the Wallabies overcome the Lions?

In professional sport, winning is important. And while some athletes may turn to a variety of prohibited substances in order to get an edge, the Australian Wallabies have turned to technology to try and help them in the current series against the British and Irish Lions.

Courtesy of major sponsors Samsung, the Wallabies have been supplied with three "Coaching Boxes", which allow the national team to track their training performances in near-to real time.

Because the whole kit can be packed away in boxes, the equipment can be carried with the team around the world for any upcoming tournaments or competitions.

It's also designed for easy setup and tear down, making it super convenient for Robbie Deans and the coaching staff to use with the players.

What's in the box?

The key components of the setup reside in the first box. A 32-inch F-series LED TV is connected to the lid, giving a large screen for team-based discussion following a play.

Footage of the team's performance is recorded using a 7m telescopic camera, which feeds footage into a Samsung laptop.

The High Performance Unit team then reviews the footage using a specialised analysis program, where it is analysed, broken down and fed into the TV for the team to watch back, all within minutes of actually running the play on the training ground.

Also in the first Coaching Box is a Belkin router, which creates a wireless network that the players can access with their smartphones or a dedicated Galaxy Tab to review the recorded footage on their own.

Double or nothing

Of course, powering up a TV and a router isn't exactly something a couple of solar panels can manage, so the second box is the power source.

Reviewing the play with Robbie Deans

Reviewing the play with Robbie Deans

A 12-volt battery, coupled with a power inverter and a battery charger, connects to the TV and laptop from the first box, to provide the juice to power the whole setup.

All up, the battery box can provide between two and three hours of power to the different components in the Coaching Box setup.

Box 3: On the bus

The final component of the Coaching Box is a third box, which is generally located on the tour bus.

Easily the smallest and easiest of the setup, the third box consists of a second Belkin router and an external hard drive.

The coaching team copies clips recorded during training to the external hard drive, which is connected to the router in the bus. The players then access the footage wirelessly using their smartphones.

Of course, all this tech can only take a team so far. If the current series against the British and Irish Lions is any indication, the results are a little hit and miss.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.