Sunday 22 September 2019

English Rugby poach Bradley Wiggins's sports scientist in bid to win 2015 World Cup

Alex Lowe

SPORTS scientist Matt Parker, a key figure in Bradley Wiggins’ triumph in the Tour De France and the London Olympics, is set to join the English Rugby Football Union to work with head coach Stuart Lancaster.

Parker was a key figure in Britain's success at the last two Olympic Games and his work with Bradley Wiggins was integral to this year's Tour de France triumph.

Currently the head of marginal gains at British Cycling, Parker is set to lead England's sports science and sports medicine programmes through to the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The Rugby Football Union is yet to confirm the appointment but it is understood Parker is in line for the position of head of athletic development which will oversee performance analysis, conditioning, psychology and lifestyle support for the national team.

"We are looking for someone of that calibre but nothing has been agreed," Lancaster said.

"This person will play a key role in the development of the team to 2015."

Parker initially joined British Cycling as an endurance coach in 2006 and he masterminded Olympic gold for the men's 4,000metre pursuit team in Beijing.

Parker then developed the training programme and weight loss which helped Wiggins switch from the velodrome to the road and finish fourth at the 2009 Tour de France.

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Although Parker stopped working directly with Wiggins in 2009 to take up the post as head of marginal gains, his programme laid the foundations for this year's historic Tour de France triumph.

Parker currently leads a team of 15 sports scientists at British Cycling whose focus is on the fractional improvements that can be made in every aspect of performance, covering equipment, training, recovery, diet, lifestyle and psychology.

Britain won seven cycling gold medals from 10 events at the London Olympics, matching their achievement from Beijing four years earlier.

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