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Coach Hyde-Lay stands adjacent to the renowned and recently deceased, Kevin (“Lunk”) Wirachowski’s Scrum Master. Lunk was a creative engineer and analyst of the rugby scrum. Today’s blog is all about another creative inventor. The story has interesting and tragic components to it, although it has a very positive conclusion.


For George Fox, the innovator of this piece of protective headgear, “Hedkayse” (above), it was not his first, having come up with protective padding equipment for cricketers who faced a ball being “thrown” at over 100 mph, way back in 2011. He spent some four years and 6,000 tests to develop a scrumcap that would protect the brain. Given this fact, the jury is still out as to whether it is a game changer and a massive step forward in the mitigation of risks or, more protective headgear without benefits. Another Company, Return2Play, a consultant on head injuries with mostly schoolboys, that had over 10,000 appointments last year (59%) rugby related, is very excited about Hedkayse’s potential. Still, they reserve that there is a difference between lab data and on-field data. Of course, there are sceptics.

All agree that lower tackles, better tackling technique, a reduction in playing time and minutes spent on bone-on-bone defense in training, better education and recognition of concussion remain crucial. Fox’s work had been revealed to a former player, Tim Stimson, who had played at the highest club and Barbarian level knew that all was not right on a personal level. This serendipitous meeting rolls forward to today as the product is being worn in training by some players. World Rugby has already given “trial” status to another product, NPro, and it is expected that Hedkayse will soon be given the green light.

I found this article most interesting, with rugby facing many threats as to its survival. I attribute all the content herein to a synthesis from a story written by Owen Sot in The London Times, (December 20th), a product of my Christmas reading. I will conclude with a few of my own thoughts. Firstly, I look at the global issue and I believe that rugby, arguably more than other sport, has taken the issue of concussion most seriously and is doing more than other contact sport, about it, looking at law changes, education of coaches, officials, players (with baseline tests), and development of protocols. One could hypothesize that the NFL is foremost, however, I constantly see players being returned to play after what could be adjudged as a dubious period. At the National level, I am not too well versed in RC’s work, although I am aware of global protocols being followed.  At the club level, I continue to be impressed with how the slightest concern is dealt with immediately.  I commend clubs who have physios, coaches and managers who have become certified with protocol management, players who have become learned and actions that range from age grade players immediately “taking a knee” when a player is down, to absolute care and concern by referees and personnel at the senior level. Were I a parent, I would not hesitate to allow my child to play rugby.


This Saturday between 10:00 and 4:00 CW will be available to take the tree that you have so enjoyed. Drop it off at the Windsor Park Rose Garden.
Junior Boys do their stint!

A job for all ages. A future Tricolor.