Saracens’ protective patches are a game-changer not a gimmick

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The protective ear plasters worn by Sarries players can pioneer the monitoring, and ultimately the prevention, of serious head injuries
• Saracens introduce head impact monitoring in win over London Irish

The x-Patch will enable coaches to scrutinise the size, severity and location of every hit to the head suffered by rugby players. Photograph: Guardian

When those images of Saracens players wearing what looked like a jumbo-sized plaster underneath their right earlobes against London Irish were broadcast last week, the initial reaction was bemusement: what is it? And what does it do? We quickly discovered it had a name: the x-Patch, created by the Seattle-based company X2 Biosystems, to monitor the force of blows to the head. Yet for some the bemusement has lingered.

How else to explain why the Saracens chief executive, Edward Griffiths, felt compelled to respond to accusations the device was a “gimmick” a few days ago? As Griffiths made clear, Saracens are trying to rake deeper into the potential dangers of head trauma to provide a greater duty of care to their staff. As he put it: “I don’t want to be visiting these players in 20 or 25 years time in a hospital where they are suffering from dementia or some other neurological condition.”………….. see the full story on :-

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