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Luatua to make history by wearing 'Player Mic' for the first time

By Josh Raisey
Steven Luatua of Bristol Bears looks on during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Bristol Bears and Gloucester Rugby at Ashton Gate on December 02, 2023 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Ryan Hiscott/Getty Images)

Bristol Bears flanker Steven Luatua will become the first ever player to wear a ‘Player Mic’ tomorrow when Bristol Bears take on Bath at Ashton Gate in the Gallagher Premiership.

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TNT Sports announced on Thursday that the new technology would be unveiled in the derby match, and Bears captain Fitz Harding has chosen the former All Blacks, now Samoa international, to be the player to make history and wear it during the match.

Harding will start alongside Luatua in the back row, and chose the 32-year-old as the candidate as he has an “encyclopaedic knowledge” of the game, which viewers will be able to tune into throughout the match.

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“I think the breaks in play are probably the most interesting points where players are able to give slightly more detailed feedback on how they’re seeing the game,” Luatua said, as reported by TNT Sports.

“From my perspective, as a young back-rower sitting at home, I’d want to hear every single word that was coming out of Steven Luatua’s mouth, because he’s got an encyclopaedic knowledge of the game and anything that you pick up is valuable there.

“As a young player or young coach watching the game, a focus on the basics, how you exploit space, how you read an attack, those real key cornerstones of the game need focus.”

Bristol director of rugby Pat Lam added: “We have a genuine responsibility because we’re in an entertainment business to try and get the game as close to the fans and supporters as possible.

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“As a club, we’re open to any innovation, so when they mentioned it to us, we said: ‘No problem.’

“I’ll actually be really interested to listen to it as well because we always talk about your communication and the way you speak is crucial as a top rugby player.”

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Comments

2 Comments
C
Clive 170 days ago

Pointless gimmick, the game needs more ball in play time and less ref and TMO input, not a mic. Speed the game up, less pens, offences generating free kicks which can be play the balls a la league or hoofs, not penalties which change results or lead to more set pieces. Running and passing is what we want.

T
Timmyboy 170 days ago

Honestly I wish they just had the crowd noise and the ref mic. Don’t need commentators waffling rubbish or stuff like this which will get scrapped once they hear swearing every 5 seconds through the mic.

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Jon 3 hours ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up there with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s (over the years), I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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