Fans will get to take part in drills directed by England attacking skills coach Mike Catt

Virtual reality tech lets rugby fans train with England

Virtual reality technology will allow fans to train with the England rugby team in an immersive 360-degree sports experience.

Network provider O2 has created ‘Wear the Rose’, which uses Oculus Rift virtual reality headset technology to transport users to the training pitch where they will experience what it’s like to be part of the England team, whether its listening to a team talk from Captain Chris Robshaw, getting tackled by hooker Tom Youngs, or receiving a pass from fullback Mike Brown.

Released to coincide with the Six Nations competition, the multi-sensory experience was created using nine GoPro Hero 3 cameras in a custom built gimbal specifically designed to keep the cameras steady and exploit the capabilities of Oculus Rift.

Mike Catt, England attacking skills coach and World Cup winner, said: “We tried to re-create as authentic an England training session for rugby fans as possible, and we really hope they enjoy the experience.”

After developing the technology to capture the video, it took a further 160 hours of filming and 320 hours of development to create an experience that allows users to turn their head in any direction, with the content responding and moving in unison, displaying a full 360-degree visual spectrum.



While 'Wear the Rose' is a prototype experience, O2 believes it could pave the way for new ways to experience sports action and sporting video games in the future.

Nina Bibby, marketing and consumer director at O2, said: “We love discovering new ways of using technology to deliver exciting experiences for our customers, and what better way to bring England rugby fans closer to the action than ‘Wear the Rose’ from O2.

“We’ll transport you into the virtual rugby boots of the England squad, taking in the heart pounding action of a full training session. This exciting technology really has to be experienced to be believed and we’re looking forward to bringing it to rugby fans across the UK this year.”

Click on the infographic below for an expanded view
Oculus Rift infographic

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