The England rugby team has called on McLaren to help enhance its training sessions ahead of its World Cup campaign in New Zealand.

11286 - McLaren to help England rugby team

In one of the most bizarre match-ups between two sporting teams, McLaren's data analysts will use GPS readings and heart monitors to tailor each player's training session. The aim is to replicate Test match intensity as closely as possible and give England a couple more percentage points of performance while playing down under. Although it sounds like one PR stunt too far, England centre Mike Tindall believes it can make a difference.

"The physical and conditioning guys are working with McLaren and trying everything they can to get that little bit more data and feedback," he said. "If we can continue to do that hopefully we will steal those half per cents.

"We're making sure we hit the ground running and a lot of the training has been more rugby based. In 2003 [the last time England won the World Cup] it was just hit the line - run, run, run. It has been a lot different. They are looking at all the data from the GPS and heart rate monitors, trying to predict when people are in a zone to get injuries.

"They also see when people are working to an optimum level and making sure they don't go over the edge of that."

McLaren has already tasted sporting success outside F1 this year while working with bicycle manufacturer Specialized to supply Mark Cavendish with his ride for the Tour de France. The bike benefitted from the team's extensive knowledge of carbon fibre to make the S-Works McLaren Venge lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamically efficient than its rivals. Cavendish went on to cycle the bike to green jersey success on the Tour last month.