Engineering a victory

Rugby fans will be keenly anticipating the moment when, on Saturday February 6, England begin their Six Nations Rugby campaign at Twickenham against Wales.

But who would want to be in England manager Martin Johnson’s shoes when the whistle blows? Winning the Webb Ellis Cup in 2003 was a magnificent achievement but has yet to be replicated.

Step in Frazer-Nash. The engineering consultancy is supporting the Rugby Football Union as part of its work with sports performance specialist PGIR, which is providing the RFU with performance analysis services over the next two years.

Frazer-Nash is to develop software tools with PGIR that will help England’s coaching staff and players analyse and improve their game. No stranger to the sporting arena, the company has brought engineering solutions to the development of Ergometer cycling machine and Powerwheel instrument for wheelchair athletes.

Indeed,UK Sport, the governing body that directs the development of British sport, has consistently demonstrated its willingness to embrace engineering solutions to help bring success to Britain’s elite athletes.

However, technology can only do so much: on the day it is the team or the individual that must perform.

With this in mind, Futurescope looks back ruefully to Wednesday evening and thinks that no amount of technological jiggery-pokery can account for leaving Wayne Rooney unmarked in the penalty area to score the goal that denied Manchester City its first major cup final since 1981. You just don’t do it. Not ever.

Jason Ford

News editor (and not remotely bitter)