Townsend: Tasks ahead for smart mouthguards


Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has acknowledged that there is still work to be done to ensure the accuracy of smart mouthguards following an incident involving prop Zander Fagerson in Saturday’s Six Nations victory over England. Fagerson was temporarily withdrawn for a head injury assessment after a routine tackle triggered an alert from his mouthguard. Despite being cleared to continue playing, Townsend expressed concerns about relying on unproven technology.

Smart mouthguards, which measure G-force and head acceleration events during contacts, are being used for the first time in the men’s Six Nations this year. Fagerson is the second Scotland player impacted by the new technology, with hooker George Hooker also going off for an HIA in a previous match against France.

While Townsend emphasized the importance of player safety, he stressed the need for further refinement of the technology to prevent unnecessary withdrawals from the field. He suggested that the incident involving Fagerson should serve as a learning opportunity for organizers to improve the accuracy of the system.

Townsend highlighted the need for close monitoring and accuracy in implementing the technology, especially considering the potential impact on key players during matches. He emphasized the importance of player welfare while also acknowledging the need for continued development and improvement in the use of smart mouthguards.

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