Bristol Bears have become the first women’s side to use specially designed gumshields to monitor the impact of collisions on their players during training.
Bristol Bears Women’s head of medical Kate Tyler emphasised that although the gum shields are not a medical diagnostic tool, the club “didn’t have to think twice” about implementing the technology.
The gumshields themselves – which are being branded as Protecht – feel different to regular guards but Bristol and Wales Women captain Siwan Lillicrap says that the “feeling of assurance” far outweighs any comfort issues. “As a player it gives you that reassurance that when you have had a big collision, you will find out the impact of that,” said Lillicrap. “We trust our medical team but it gives data that they can make accurate judgements. As a player, it gives you that security over what you have experienced and felt in a game. It gives you more confidence, which is a real positive.”