Steven Luatua first to wear player mic in sold-out Bristol Bears V Bath Derby

Steven Luatua first to wear player mic in sold-out Bristol Bears V Bath Derby

Bristol Bears flanker Steven Luatua will make history by becoming the first ever Premiership Rugby player to be mic'd up in a game.

TNT Sports viewers will get a never-seen-before take of the ex-All Blacks star during the huge Gallagher Premiership derby between Bristol and Bath at Gate on Saturday (KO 3.05pm).

Luatua, who won 15 All Blacks caps and has since represented Samoa at the 2023 World Cup, is known for being in the thick of the action.

TNT Sports fans will now get a unique perspective from the former Bears captain wearing the all-new “PlayerMic” technology first pioneered in the NBA.

Now 32, Luatua has seen more than most on the professional rugby field - he faced the British and Irish Lions in 2017 for the Auckland Blues before heading to the Premiership.

And as one of the leaders in the Bears ranks, viewers will be able to see and hear exactly what is said by one of the league's most-respected and influential players.

Current Bears captain Fitz Harding picked Luatua as one of the guys that fans would learn a huge amount from.

He said: “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.

“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.”

Since joining Bristol Bears in 2017, Luatua won the club’s Player’s Player of the Season award in 2018-19 and 2019-20, the Supporters Player of the Season award in 2020-21 and was been shortlisted for Gallagher Premiership Player of the Season in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Boss Pat Lam is also pumped to see the brand new innovation, led by one of his most-trusted players.

He 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.

“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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