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Smith scare prompts Head to use neck guard

By AAP Newswire

Australia vice-captain Travis Head started using a neck guard after watching Steve Smith's brutal scare at Lord's but there remains no team rule regarding the helmet attachment.

Smith wasn't wearing a StemGuard, the clip-on neck protector designed by helmet manufacturer Masuri in the aftermath of Phillip Hughes' tragic death, when he was struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer on Saturday.

The ball belted Smith's exposed neck as he twisted, prompting the star batsman to hit the deck in scenes that dredged up memories of the shocking accident at the SCG in 2014.

Smith was quickly back on his feet but the incident, which resulted in a delayed concussion, has prompted him to consider the merits of using a neck guard whenever he is given the green light to bat again.

Head, who like Smith had previously tried batting with a StemGuard but found them uncomfortable and restrictive, changed his tune and donned one during his match-saving unbeaten knock on day five of the second Ashes Test.

"I wore it and probably will wear it for the rest of the series," Head said.

"The wickets are a little bit slower and you can get some that do different things, so it is not as true bounce ... it is just better to be safe than copping one.

"As you've seen with Steve getting hit, you can get yourself into tricky positions ... there was a lot of balls following batters.

"With the conditions in Australia you can sway out the way, the bounce is quite true."

Neck guards are set to become mandatory next year as part of Cricket Australia's concussion and head trauma policy.

"So I may as well get used to it now and then start putting them on," Head said.

Justin Langer admitted during the second Test he was surprised to learn StemGuards weren't already mandatory but the coach hasn't instituted a team rule on the current tour.

"It is each to their own," Head said.

"There are a lot of guys wearing them; all of the bowlers are wearing them now."