Salford Red Devils are the first rugby league team to adopt pioneering mouthguards which measure and monitor the impact to players’ heads.
Players will be using smart Protecht mouthguards with a chip inserted inside created by Sports Wellbeing and Analytics, a Welsh company that focuses on bettering athlete performance and wellbeing. It is already integrated within Rugby Union but has expanded to Rugby League, Salford being the first team to adopt this technology.
The mouthpiece works in real-time and any data recorded is sent to pitch-side medical staff for them to assess and advise accordingly. The mouthpiece is positioned in a way that it’s connected to the user’s upper jaw, the only part of the body which can’t move independently of the skull.
Salford physio coach Rob Artingsall explained: “We can also use the data to plan the quantity and intensity of our contact sessions on a weekly basis which could help us strike the right balance between performance and looking after the players physically and mentally.”
Director of rugby and operations for Salford Red Devils Ian Blease said: “As a club, we always look to take care of our players and their welfare is of upmost importance to us and will always be at the forefront when we are investigating new equipment and topics.”
Here are my thoughts on what this technology could do outside the rugby world: