Duncan Locke, Head of Performance Analysis at the Rugby Football Union (RFU), will deliver the guest talk at the 2022 Pro Forum.
Locke is the latest in a long line of leading performance practitioners to speak at the Forum, following in the footsteps of Dean Oliver, Dennis Lock, Luke Bornn, Mike Fitzgerald, Steven Houston and last year’s presenter, the ECB’s Performance Director Mo Bobat.
After starting his career in a multi-sport role at the English Institute of Sport, Locke spent four years in the same organisation supporting British Cycling. This included providing support to Team GB in the lead-up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, an event which saw Great Britain secure fourteen medals, including eight golds, in cycling events.
In 2010 he joined the RFU’s Professional Rugby department, initially in the role of Senior Performance Analyst. Over the next ten years he was responsible for developing and implementing key analysis processes to the England Rugby Senior Men’s team and wider professional rugby department. In September 2020 he was appointed Head of Performance Analysis, leading the organisation’s Rugby Intelligence Department incorporating; England Team Analysis support, Performance Data strategy and Performance Systems and Research.
In addition to his work in professional rugby, Locke possesses extensive experience of collaborating with other industry leaders to deliver multi-disciplinary projects, with the objective of providing systematic and innovative answers to performance questions.
His guest talk at the Forum, which is taking place at 30 Euston Square in London on Wednesday 23rd March, is titled; Data driven, data informed, or data inspired? Understanding and optimising the use of data in the decision-making process to enhance performance, player development and player welfare.
After confirming his talk, Locke, who has worked across three Rugby World Cup cycles, said:
“Having spent the best part of two years attending events online, I am looking forward to being able to reconnect face-to-face with other practitioners working in elite performance analysis at the Pro Forum.
“Whilst rugby and football inevitably have their own unique demands, those working in each sport will undoubtedly face similar challenges when it comes to sustaining long-term performance, with advances in data and analytics offering another dimension in terms of setting parameters, quantifying roles and evaluating player outputs over a sustained period of time.
“By providing a few case studies and insights into lessons learned from work delivered at the RFU, I hope I can offer another perspective into how data has been used by us to support wider strategic goals, which could be of relevance to delegates in the room engaged in similar discussions at their respective organisations.”
Alongside the guest talk, this year’s Pro Forum will also feature presentations of six innovative projects, chosen by a panel of industry judges, in addition to a Q&A with Tranmere Rovers Manager Micky Mellon.