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Super Rugby: Miked up All Blacks are bringing fans closer to the action

Jaxin Daniels

Miked up All Blacks bringing fans closer to the action

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Superstar Damian McKenzie and captain Luke Jacobson were miked up and fans got to experience the game of rugby in a new way.

Less than 10 minutes into the season, Crusaders and All Blacks prop Tamaiti Williams found himself steaming towards the try line before pulling up and grabbing at his hamstring.

McKenzie was the first to the tackle and fans could hear the interaction with his injured opponent.

“You did your hammy, cuz?”

This was met by Williams’ agonising groans while lying on the FMG Stadium grass.

Small interactions like this are what make Chiefs chief executive Simon Graafhuis excited by the in-game mics, and he revealed there was more to come.

“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,” Graafhuis said.

“There are plans to extend this innovation to include the Super Rugby Pacific teams in New Zealand.”

Chiefs head coach Clayton McMillan said such innovations allowed fans to get closer to the action.

“We have seen mics 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.”

In the audio from the Chiefs’ season opener, tactical interactions, nicknames and communication between players and referees can be heard throughout and give viewers an insight into the different aspects of a professional game.

As McKenzie and Jacobson line up on defence, you can hear them organising who they are marking; referring to opposition player Dallas McLeod as “Dal”.

At full-time, Jacobson addresses the referees and thanks them for the game, showing the respect fans know and love about rugby first-hand.

These small things are something rugby fans can get used to and will add an extra element of viewing to the game.

Fans can find the content after the games on Sky Sport and Super Rugby Pacific club and competition channels.

Hero Image: Damian McKenzie of the Chiefs. Photo / Photosport

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