February 25, 2024

Gallagher Chiefs introduce in-game player mics

In a New Zealand first, the Gallagher Chiefs have mic’d up players in a World Rugby-sanctioned game to bring fans even closer to the action on field.

The DHL Super Rugby Pacific innovation was revealed tonight on Sky Sports The Breakdown where the Gallagher Chief’s first-round win over the Crusaders was reviewed with additional insight into captain Luke Jacobson and playmaker Damian McKenzie’s communications on the field.

Gallagher Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said: “We acknowledge the need to provide a more fan-centric product, and the use of player mics is a mechanism that gets fans closer to the action. We have seen them used in other codes to good effect and can give fans, coaches and players an insight into what is seen, felt, communicated and actioned on the field.”

The Hamilton-based club has been trialling the innovation since early January and throughout their pre-season fixtures. All Black midfielder Quinn Tupaea is one player who wore the concealed mic during their Cross Border Rugby fixtures and found it an exciting tool from a player insights perspective too.

Chiefs Rugby Club CEO Simon Graafhuis said: “Implementing the player mics in pre-season and sharing them with broadcast is a first, not just for us, but for all of rugby in New Zealand.

“We are always looking at ways that we can innovate and how we can share more of what we do with our fans. The players and coaching group are really supportive of this initiative and there are plans to extend this innovation to include the DHL Super Rugby Pacific teams in New Zealand.

“For the Chiefs, in-game mics are just the first step in a larger plan to release a documentary that will bring fans behind the scenes of our club, its culture and our teams. We will keep pushing the boat out in this space and hope our fans enjoy this new view of the game.”

Fans will be able to watch this new content post games on Sky Sport and DHL Super Rugby Pacific club and competition channels.

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Gallagher Chiefs introduce in-game player mics