World Rugby has introduced independent consultants to oversee the return-to-play protocols for players returning from concussion.
A panel of Independent Concussion Consultants will be made available to the game to provide expert opinion on whether a player should return to play, following the successful completion of the six-stage Graduated Return to Play process for elite competitions.
International Rugby Players board member, Dr.Sharron Flahive, said: “This is a progressive step in the treatment of head injuries and something that I’ve seen have a positive impact during the recent Super Rugby competition in Australia.
“Involving an independent concussion expert as another level of assessment, provides support for the doctor as to when a player is ready to return to play. It also gives a secondary level of evaluation for the player prior to return, as players will always retain an urgency to get back on the field.”
The game will also see Independent Concussion Consultants introduced to oversee the return to play following a head injury. pic.twitter.com/aeKWixR3JB— InternationalRugbyPlayers (@IntRugbyPlayers) July 14, 2021
World Rugby Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Eanna Falvey, the former team doctor for Ireland and the British & Irish Lions said: “We have successfully operated a programme of Independent Concussion Consultants at previous Rugby World Cups, providing an invaluable resource for team doctors when there have been tight turnaround times between matches, or where team doctors have sought support in their decision-making on return to play.
“Our commitment to expand this initiative across the elite game, making leading experts available for all competitions, is another major step forward in our player welfare commitment. It completely recognises and supports the need to ensure an individualised player approach based on risk, rather than an arbitrary stand down time.”
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