University researchers will test new headgear on young rugby players next season to see if it can cushion them from head knocks.
A Canterbury University team has designed a prototype based on new materials, after tests raised question marks about the protection of existing headgear.
Lead researcher Nick Draper told Kate Hawkesby young volunteers will have a MRI scan and cognitive testing before they wear the headgear at games and training.
He says they will be taken to hospital to be tested again, if they're in a collision.
"They'll be taken to hospital to be tested again if they are in a collision and this will help them measure the headgear's protective abilities."