Daniel's doing a great job with statistics at The Ospreys

Daniel Hiscocks with The Ospreys Daniel Hiscocks is rightly recognised as a very good Senior Sports Analyst with The Ospreys after the Milford Haven man had sustained a serious illness that forced him to halt his promising rugby career – and after gaining an honours degree in Sports Coaching set out on a Master’s Degree in being a sporting analyst so that he could stay in the oval-ball game.
Daniel had already forged out a great start to his rugby playing days at his home town of Milford Haven, then Narberth, Cardiff Met and Glamorgan Wanderers before it was all brought to a shuddering halt when he felt unwell on a trip home to celebrate a family birthday and within a short time learned he had suffered spontaneous pneumothorax – or a collapsed lung to you and me!
At that time he was playing on the wing for Glamorgan Wanderers in the Welsh Premiership at The Memorial Ground in Ely and was about to fly to Hong Kong to see an old mate and perhaps play a few games there but after being a few days in hospital having his lung drained and re-inflated decided it was time to stop playing the game he loved.
“I thought it was a chest infection and as well as having pain there it felt as if I was being punched under the armpit and I was told that my quick recovery was down to the fact that I was fit – so decided I had to stop but for a while felt totally in limbo.”

Family Matters

At this time Daniel would say that he was lucky to have total support from his mum Margaret, who has always been there, and dad Wayne, who played rugby for Milford Central School and Milford Haven RFC but is a very keen game shooter and is on the committee of the Pembrokeshire Wildfowlers’ Association.
“I also shot competitively as a youngster in the Milford Haven Army Cadets and we won a couple of national team competitions after my dad started my interest off when I was about six or seven and went along with him.
His brother Jason was also a decent footballer with Milford Athletic and in recent years Daniel’s girlfriend, Hannah Bird, has also given him every encouragement in his work.
When returning to Milford Haven,  Daniel helps out with Milford Haven RFC Youth when he can because his cousin Jamie Parr, a well-known prop in Pembrokeshire, is the coach of the Mariners’ youth team.

Gained his Honours Degree and then switched tack with a Masters’ degree in professional sport analysis

“Then I gained my 2.1 Honours Degree in Sports Coaching but didn’t really feel I was ready to go into that area and decided to stay on at UWIC (or Cardiff Met as it is known now) to take a two-year Master’s Degree in  ‘Performance Analysis of Sport’.
“In the first year I spent a lot of time on the theoretical side of the course in lectures but I was also given a role with the Cardiff Blues under 16 development squad where I could put into practice some of the things I had learned.
“The second year was regarded as the thesis year and Alan Sheppard, who was the coach to the women’s rugby team, was brilliant as I took on the role of analyst, and he gave me a free rein to develop my ideas.

Lots of work as he gained experience . . .

“Then later in the year I had another chance to build my reputation when I was picked up by the WRU Premiership Analysis Bureau and they allocated me to work with Llandovery and Bridgend Ravens, providing both with filmed analysis of every aspect of their games.
“To be honest it was a heck of a lot of work because they also wanted me to develop the stats for the WRU to be sent out to clubs and since I was also working with Cardiff Met during the week I had plenty of rugby analysis on my plate!”
“I used their standardised templates to ensure lots of data collection and it was nice when Bridgend Ravens won the Swalec Cup and I spent a lot of time with the coaches at training sessions.

. . . But it soon paid off at international level!

“Then I was assigned to Newport and the work became even more intense but I really enjoyed it – and it was great when I was invited to work as an Intern with our full national squad for the 2016 Six-Nations Campaign, shadowing the work of the four main analysts and sitting in the coaches’ box for home games against Scotland, France and Italy, plus away matches against England and Ireland - and gaining so much experience from head analyst Rhodri Bown, who was very supportive.”
From there Daniel was sent out to Namibia as an analyst for Phil Davies’s team in The Africa Cup and was involved when they beat Zimbabwe in the final at the country’s capital of Windhoek.

More promotion in a new role

“It was an exciting time,” admitted Daniel, “but escalated when I received a phone call telling me about a full time post with The WRU as a national Academy Analyst and after getting the job my role was to help develop future professional players and look out for emerging talent to recommend back – and also to work all week with The Ospreys’ academy.”
In 2017 Daniel went to South Africa with the Welsh under 18s that took part in an under 19 competition against England, France and the host nation - and Wales became the first team of that age group to beat the South Africans on their home turf.

Daniels father Wayne Hiscocks is captain of Milford Haven Central School

Great times with The Ospreys

In 2018 he took on the role of Senior Analyst with The Ospreys, under head analyst Aled Griffiths, with an intern and an academy analyst also as part of the team - and this was his third season there so he has got to know all the players and coaching staff.
“But it has been a weird season,” Daniel told us, “because of the games being played behind closed doors – and we are tested once for Covid 19 for home games and twice when we are playing away.
Looking ahead Daniel readily admits that being the head analyst of an international squad would be the ultimate ambition, particularly with Wales, but understands it might be further afield.
“We have had Welsh analysts with the English, Scottish, Australian and New Zealand teams, and I would be happy to follow in their footsteps if the chance arises – and at 29 I still have plenty of time to see where my career goes.”

And finally . . .

In the summer months, if there is no rugby going on, Daniel attends on-line courses and regularly attends meetings with analysts from other sports like football, cricket, athletics and many more – looking at best practice in their chosen sports to see if anything can be learned from them and applied in rugby.
“We are always looking to evolve’ he told PembrokeshireSport.co.uk “and I love what I’m doing – although I still very much enjoy my trips back to Milford Haven because I am still a Pembrokeshire Boy at heart!

Wales Under 20s who toured South Africa