International Rugby Players has welcomed the introduction of new protocols that will see the minimum stand-down period extended for players who show clear signs of concussion.
The new rules, which come into effect from July 1, will see such players, as well as those with a history of concussions, stood down for a minimum of 12 days.
The protocols also expand the use of Independent Concussion Consultants, so that any players eligible to return to play ahead of the 12-day timescale will be required to undergo assessment by neurological expert from outside their team’s medical staff.
An independent working group involving World Rugby and International Rugby Players representatives and leading practitioners in the field recommended the changes based on evidence and a desire to encourage greater reporting of concussion symptoms.
New concussion protocols are part of culture change in the game— InternationalRugbyPlayers (@IntRugbyPlayers) June 21, 2022
READ MORE: https://t.co/TpuUvOmLq2
Our Head of Player Welfare Conrad Smith says it's about trusting the system, listening to medical advice and reporting symptoms… pic.twitter.com/j6oWUwhfhJ
International Rugby Players Head of Player Welfare and High Performance, Conrad Smith, said: “The key to this working – and the important part in changing the culture around concussion – is that players report their head knocks and any symptoms.
“Seeing first-hand the amount of work and research that is going into this extremely complex issue, I have confidence in the approach taken and that the authorities are looking after the player’s best interests.”
He added: “Any protocol is only as good as the honesty and openness of players and this is what we’re going to be stressing from this point on – the protocols have changed but the emphasis for players is to report, to be honest, to trust the system, to trust the medical advice and expertise around them. That’s their best chance of being healthy, working through (the process) and getting back on the field and playing well.”
For more detail on the new protocols, visit the World Rugby website.
The World Rugby independent Concussion Working Group consists of:
Andrew Gardner – Independent
Arabah Chintoh – Independent
Bob Cantu – Independent
Jon Patricios – Independent
Phillipe Decq – Independent
Sharon Flahive – International Rugby Players
Omar Hassenein – International Rugby Players
David Brauge – FFR
Karen Rasmussen – NZR
Prav Mathema – WRU
Simon Kemp – RFU
Antonio Ferreira – Rugby Europe
Matt Cross – Premiership Rugby
Eanna Falvey – World Rugby – Non voting
Ross Tucker – World Rugby – Non voting
Martin Raftery – World Rugby – Non voting
Mark Harrington – World Rugby – Non voting
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