Leeds Rhinos’ training regime has been thrown into turmoil after thieves stole a laptop containing vital data.
The computer was in a rucksack that was snatched during a break-in at the home of conditioning coach Rich Hunwick overnight last night.
It had a wealth of information about the players’ training programmes,
including fitness data and measures of exertion levels.
GPS tracking devices - used to monitor players’ performance during training sessions - were also taken.
The burglars escaped in Mr Hunwick’s VW Golf after stealing his car keys.
He said: “The impact will be significant.
“There were three memory sticks in the bag with a lot of back-up data that we analyse and use to dictate how we train.
“It’s data that means nothing to anyone else and is of no value, but it’s invaluable to us.”
The thieves broke into Mr Hunwick’s home in Southowram through patio doors as he and his partner and six-month-old daughter slept upstairs.
They also took an iPad tablet computer containing pictures of his family and personal information before getting away in the car.
The car contained a number of items of memorabilia, including a Challenge Cup top, that were due to be signed and auction off for charity.
In total about £20,000 worth of equipment was taken, as well as the vehicle.
But Mr Hunwick, who discovered the incident at about 6am this morning, said the majority was of no value to anyone other than the Rhinos.
“They wouldn’t be able to sell most of the stuff,” he said, adding: “It’s pretty devastating. I know no-one has lost their life and primarily I’m happy that my family are safe.
“But the impact that it will have, for what for someone else is meaningless information, is gutting.”
The car, a white Golf, has the registration number YC11 JGZ and has Mr Hunwick’s name on the side.
Police are investigating. Anyone with information should call 101.