MATCH READY: Ipswich State High School are using GPS and heart-rate monitors to help prepare for this year's Brisbane Broncos Schoolboys Rugby League competition.
MATCH READY: Ipswich State High School are using GPS and heart-rate monitors to help prepare for this year's Brisbane Broncos Schoolboys Rugby League competition. David Nielsen

The science behind schoolboys challenge

IPSWICH State High School will be taking a scientific approach to this year's Schoolboys Rugby League competition.

Fitted with GPS and heart-rate monitors, the ISHS students have been put through their paces in preparation ahead of the Brisbane Broncos Cup.

With the large number of students involved with club and representative football, Ipswich State High School rugby league co-ordinator Lee Addison said the new technology would allow him to monitor his players welfare.

"We brought in GPS and heart-rate to be able to monitor their workload,” Addison said. "A lot of the guys played in the Ipwich Jets Mal Maninga squad on the weekend or in the Met West trials.

"I made this program to be a bit softer on them, which is why we have the GPS and heart-rate so that we can keep tabs on how they are going.”

One of three Ipswich schools taking part in the Queensland Under 13-18 school competition, ISHS finished second in the Open Langer Trophy and Langer Reserve senior grades.

After making the National Schoolboys Cup Queensland finals for the second straight year, Addison hopes to continue the school's reputation as a nursery for young talent.

"We've set a benchmark for ourselves now,” Addison said. "We've finished second for the last two years now so anything below that we're not going to be happy with. There's one more step we can aim for.”

With a number of Year 11 players returning for the senior side this year, Addison is confident the ISHS squad will be well-prepared after pre-season trial matches against Redbank Plains and St Peter Claver College.

"About two-thirds are back at school after last year,” he said. "We also seem to have a bigger front row than in previous years.

"I feel like we have a bit more depth than we previously had. The only area I think we are a bit down in is our outside backs, but having said that, the ones I do have are top shelf.”

Recently, Ipswich had 14 players selected in the Met West from the first grade squad, with another six picked in the Under 15s.

With a number of former students making their debut in the new state-wide Under 20s competition this year, Addison hopes his current squad can continue to shine after graduation.

"I'm proud of the students who have come through here,” he said.

"I think people now realise that when they come to Ipswich High that there is a higher than average chance that a student will get picked up.”