The Leinster Rugby fitness, S&C and physiotherapy team are hosting an Elite Performance Conference in the RDS Arena on the 28th February. caught up with the men behind the mics to ask them exactly what they will be presenting on and how the day will run.

With registration from 8.15am, the first presentation starts at 9.15am and will be hosted by Bryan Cullen (Lead Academy S&C Coach) and Cillian Reardon (Sports Scientist) and is entitled Analysis of the Game Demands of Various Team Sports with the Use of GPS Technology

Cillian outlined what he and Bryan will cover, “GPS microtechnology has become the gold standard for quantitative measurement of demands in elite team sports. This presentation will give an overview of the global and specific demands of team sports and how GPS can be used to monitor and manage these demands.”

Cillian Reardon

After a short break Bryan will then lead a second talk around Conditioning Strategies for Team Sports.

The Conference will feature two break out sessions led by Diarmaid Brennan (Senior Rehabilitation Coach), Sami Dowling (Academy Strength & Conditioning Coach) and Daniel Davey (Head Performance Nutritionist). 

Diarmaid discussed his break out session, “My break out session is on Monitoring and Readiness to Train Strategies for the Professional Player. The purpose of this presentation is to give an insight into the monitoring and assessment systems in use in professional sport. It will highlight the systems used by Leinster Rugby to screen players as well as give a detailed look at our daily assessments which are used to gauge players readiness to train.

“The presentation will highlight the importance of monitoring players in all facets of performance and training. It will also show how to make effective use of monitoring info and provide some sample readiness to train programmes.” 

Sami Dowling

Sami, who worked with the Dublin senior football team for three years during which time they won the All-Ireland in 2011, will present his workshop on Developing Explosive Triple Extension in the Weight Room.

The last break out session will be led by Daniel and naturally his focus will be on nutrition and in particular Establishing a Culture for Good Health and Performance. 

“I will give an overview of the central nutrition principals applied in Leinster Rugby but also how you gain player buy-in to create a culture for good health and peak performance.”

There has been a lot of focus lately on nutrition and supplementation in particular but Daniel maintains the fundamental importance of nutrition as a corner stone of any team environment and culture. Getting the player to buy in is the next step.  
“Almost everyone knows that nutrition is hugely important for athletes to achieve both health and performance based goals. The key for nutritionists/coaches is maintaining an athlete’s focus on their goals for consistent results for the duration of a season.

“My nutrition presentation will provide a brief overview of the central nutrition principals applied here in Leinster, while the main objective of the presentation is to provide an insight to the techniques used to keep athletes engaged and motivated to consistently apply these principals to achieve good health and peak performance”.

After lunch Garreth Farrell (Head Physiotherapist) and Tom Turner (Senior S&C Coach) will present Managing Injury Risk and Maximising Performance in Lower Limb Strength Development.

Garreth Farrell

Garreth explained what their presentation will cover, “Tom and I are talking about the importance of an integrated approach between S&C coach and physio of best practice in developing lower limb strength in an elite rugby environment.

“We will outline the contemporary literature to support our S&C practices. This will be supplemented with our own research led rationale for the model that we use in conjunction with anecdotal experience in the evolution of our practices. This will be reflective of injury, both acute and degenerative.  It will give S&C coaches and physios an insight into the development, planning, progression and periodisation of our lower limb strength program.”

There will be one last opportunity to avail of the break out sessions outlined above before Leinster Rugby, Head of Fitness, Dan Tobin presents. 

His focus will be on Improving Speed Performance in Team Sport Players.

“My talk is on optimising speed performance in team sport athletes. It will focus on reviewing proven methods for developing acceleration including strength, power, plyometrics and speed training itself. It will provide coaches with strong practical strategies to improve linear speed in their players or athletes with supporting evidence from research and our own practices at Leinster Rugby. Different methods are appropriate depending on the age and experience of the athletes, and coaches will learn how to prescribe training specific to the level of athlete they deal with.”

Dan Tobin

This is only the second year of the Elite Performance Conference and Dan admits that they are still building but they learned from their first year and feel that this years offering is a step up and again provides a unique perspective on the team behind the scenes at Leinster Rugby.

“The feedback we received last year was very positive and hopefully we have been able to take that feedback and make this year’s Conference even better. We feel that it is a window into what goes on at Leinster Rugby that would before now, not be available.

“We think that there is a lot to be learned from some of what we are doing at Leinster and we are happy to share that knowledge and that experience. The break out session will also provide attendees the opportunity to get up close and ask questions of the lads, but that opportunity will be available throughout the day. 

“We enjoyed presenting it last year and are looking forward to it.”

For more information and to book your place check out