Following a trial with Northampton Saints’ players, Premiership Rugby today confirmed that Prevent Biometrics has been selected as the instrumented mouthguard (iMG) provider for a study throughout the league during the 2022/23 season.
The RFU / World Rugby also announced that Prevent Biometrics will also be conducting the study within the Allianz Premier 15s and England representative teams next term.
The data gathered via the instrumented mouthguards during the 2022/23 campaign will add to that obtained during trials with Saints in 2021/22, with Northampton, Harlequins, Bristol Bears Women and England Women all working together to deepen understanding of the magnitude and frequency of head impacts in the elite game.
The data will provide a quantitative measure of the nature of the impacts and – using a range of modelling approaches – what happens to the brain in both training and match-play settings.
Each participating player in participating teams will wear the mouthguards containing a data acquisition system which in real-time collects and wirelessly transmits count, load, location, direction, linear and rotational motion every time there is a collision.
This will assist with making recommendations to further inform rugby’s injury-prevention strategies, as the sport continues its research-led drive to protect players at all levels of the game.
Phil Winstanley, Rugby Director for Premiership Rugby said: “We are delighted to continue to work with the RFU, World Rugby, the RPA, and now with Prevent Biometrics, on this important initiative.
“We are now building on previous pilot studies using this technology and, with the support of the clubs and players and independent specialists, we will enable the elite game to produce large-scale data to inform future player safety recommendations.
“This mouthguard technology will provide new and objective insights into the duration, frequency, and magnitude of head impacts during training and matches.”Phil Winstanley, Rugby Director for Premiership Rugby
“Clubs will also be able to use the technology immediately in real-time to monitor and modify contact load in training, matches and across the season to support player welfare and to optimise performance.
“We would like to thank all participating clubs and their staff and players for their support of this hugely important initiative that will undoubtedly have a significant impact on player safety initiatives moving forwards.”