November 3, 2021

Mirror: How mouthguard technology aims to minimise the risk of concussions in rugby

As rugby league joins union in preparing to deal with concussion-related legal issues, a tiny sensor in players’ mouthguards could hold the key to preserving both codes’ futures.

News emerged this week that 10 league players, including former Great Britain scrum-half Bobbie Goulding, are planning to sue for negligence against the RFL over their failure to protect them from the risks caused by concussions.

Sports and Wellbeing Analytics was founded in 2016 and launched their Protecht mouthguards, which have been used by Super League clubs Salford, St Helens and Toronto Wolfpack, and union Premiership sides Harlequins and Gloucester.

A sensor can measure the linear and rotational movement of the head after each collision, which is then relayed in real time to medical staff using laptops on the touchline.

“We’re not a medical tool – we’re not telling them ‘this player is concussed’,” SWA chief executive Chris Turner explained.

“What we’re telling them is that this has happened to that player, and they can look back over time for cumulative impacts.”

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