Saracens Begin New Concussion Measuring Experiment

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Saracens have begun investigations into the potential damage caused by impacts in the game with particular focus on concussions.

The clubs players wore impact sensors behind their ears during this weekends game against London Irish as they began their new concussion research programme.

The device, called the xPatch and produced in the US, measures the size and angle of hits to the head.

“We don’t want to meet our players in 20 years’ time to find them suffering from dementia and reflect we suspected something was going on but didn’t really know,” said Edward Griffiths.

“We want to know – we want answers.”

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The Saracens chief executive added: “We feel obliged to ask these questions, however uncomfortable they may be.”

With concussion becoming an increasingly prominent concern in rugby, the latest research by Saracens is likely to be met with widespread approval.

Former England players Shontayne Hape  and Michael Lipman are among those who have been forced to retire because of the effects of concussion, with Hape complaining of “depression, constant migraines and memory loss”. 

Saracens players will wear the patches, made by Seattle-based X2 Biosystems, in matches and training sessions. The patches can then be removed and the data uploaded to a computer, where it will be logged.

Griffiths added: “We aspire to be a club that genuinely looks after its players, and nothing is more important than their medium and long term welfare.

“The findings will be reported in due course.”

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