The Rugby Football League is set to intoduce measures to combat the effects of concussion in the game.

This will also include research into mouthguards to scientifically measure head knocks.

A recommendation from the sport’s clinical advisory group has seen the RFL board amend return-to-play protocols.

This will mean players who fail concussion tests during matches or training will not be permitted to play again for at least 11 days, which is up from seven.

Stronger punishments will also be issued for striking, headbutting, kicking and late hits.

What will the mouthguard research look into?

Meanwhile, the RFL is preparing to launch a game-wide research project to quantify head impact and acceleration exposures in the sport with the aim of increasing understanding and reducing future risk.

Redhill And Reigate Life: Leeds Rhinos' Richie Myler (PA)Leeds Rhinos' Richie Myler (PA)

It follows a pilot study in 2021 when players from Leeds and Salford wore instrumented mouthguards to measure head impact exposures and how tackle technique and tackle height influence head acceleration loading.

The guards, which are fitted with micro-chips and relay data to touchline medical staff, have also been used by Premiership rugby union clubs.

The RFL say all 12 Super League clubs are committed to working with researchers at Leeds Beckett University on the TaCKLE – Tackle and Contact Kinematics, Load and Exposure – project.

Professor Ben Jones, lead researcher from Leeds Beckett and the strategic lead for performance and research in the RFL’s England Performance Unit, spoke to the PA News Agency on the subject.

He said: "The pilot study for the TaCKLE project was the most comprehensive validity study completed in the world.

“The study generated the data we needed to measure the effectiveness and accuracy of a range of instrumented mouthguards.

“We are now ready to begin the three-year research project.

“We are working closely with other sports who also recognise the importance of research in this area and are interested in the project, largely because we will be monitoring both male and female players from different sections of Rugby League.”