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Saracens trial safety device

Saracens players participating in Saturday's victory over London Irish wore sensors to measure the force and direction of impacts to the head.

The gadgets, used for the first time in England having been introduced into the National Football League in the United States, are taped behind the ear and will help determine the effects of concussion.

"We're collecting data because we want answers," Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths said.

"We don't want to meet our players in 20 or 25 years' time and find them suffering from dementia or any similar condition and reflect that we suspected something was going on but didn't really know. We want to know. The findings will be reported in due course."

Data from the devices is currently downloaded after the match but new sensors to be introduced later this year will provide real-time data, potentially providing a more accurate method of determining whether a player should leave the field or continue playing.

Premiership Rugby's rugby director Phil Winstanley welcomed Saracens' initiative.

"Player welfare is the number one priority at Premiership Rugby, so we welcome any initiative that helps our management of such an important issue as concussion.

"With the RFU and RPA, we have recently completed a ground-breaking concussion education programme with every one of our players, coaches, management and match officials.

"We will look forward to sitting down with Saracens to discuss the outcomes of the trial."

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