Do Not Sell My Personal Information
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Wednesday Feb 10, 2021

Concussion expert warns that if there are symptoms, Sexton should not be playing on Sunday

Concussion expert warns that if there are symptoms, Sexton should not be playing on Sunday

The debate surrounding whether Ireland captain Johnny Sexton should play against France in this weekend’s second round of the 6 Nations has not abated in the days following his failed Head Injury Assessment sustained during his side’s defeat to Wales in Cardiff.

ADVERTISEMENT

*UPDATE: Sexton has since issued a response 

Sexton left the field injured in the 70th minute against Wales after being struck on the head accidentally by Justin Tipuric but appeared to show signs of anger and confusion, both of which are clear signs of concussion.

As a player who has suffered multiple concussions during his playing career, Sexton’s latest injury worry left many concerned after the weekend, including one prominent French neurosurgeon and elite sportsman concussion specialist, Jean-François Chermann.

Speaking to French radio station RMC, Chermann said: “For me, it is obvious that there has been a concussion. We see that he is struggling to get back to his feet, he is angry, he doesn’t want to leave the field.

“Of course, we’re not certain if he lost consciousness, that he was knocked out. But that’s not the problem, the problem is that there was an alteration in his neurological functions, which is the main property of a concussion.

“It’s difficult to cast judgement on a case I haven’t seen, but in any case, no matter who the player is, there is an undeniable risk when returning to a ‘traumatic’ activity, in the event of a new brain injury.

ADVERTISEMENT

“There’s also the risk of a secondary injury, not related to the brain. Players might be a bit slower, not take the right decisions…they can rupture ligaments, fracture their shoulder or [suffer] other injuries. So, of course, there is a risk.”

Sexton has a long history of concussions in the past and it is clear to many onlookers that his style of play has been altered accordingly. So often the target of back-rowers and centres from the opposite side, Sexton has been on the receiving end of several major collisions.

For Chermann, who worked with Sexton briefly when the Irish out-half was at Racing 92, whether a player is able to play again quickly after suffering a concussion, largely depends on their cognitive performances, which vary from player to player.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I think in the case of Jonny Sexton, he is in the range of 30 concussions during his career, which is huge,” Chermann said.

“But all the tests which have been done on this player, for example when he played at Racing, showed that he had exceptional cognitive performances.

“We can hear players saying today ‘yes, I know there’s a risk of developing neurological problems, but I’m willing to take the risk’ but the players must be told where they’re at. The role of the doctors, fundamental in this instance, is: if there are symptoms, if the tests are [sic] disturbed, the doctor must prevent him from playing on Sunday.

“On the other hand, if there are no symptoms, if the tests are perfect, the fact that he has had a number of concussions before is a problem, but I don’ think there is enough evidence to stop him from continuing his rugby career.”

No replacement for Sexton has been brought into the wider Ireland squad for this weekend’s encounter with the French in Dublin, suggesting that the coaching and medical staff are optimistic that Sexton will play some role.

It remains to be seen whether his replacement last weekend Billy Burns will take up the starting fly-half role on Sunday, with the team set to be announced in the coming days. Assistant Coach Simon Easterby is, however, confident that both Sexton and Ryan will return to face France.

It was not just the French media which raised questions over the amount of heavy contact seen during the weekend’s game either. Irish radio station Newstalk’s show Off The Ball cited the number of HIAs during the game being as high as five, much higher than normally seen.

The match was described by co-host Eoin Sheehan as “car crash rugby” and points to a wider problem with the modern game correlating to a steep increase in the amount of brain injuries sustained on the field.

Related Articles

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Ireland's O'Mahony banned for three matches...

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Scotland create history with first Twickenham...

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Magician Dupont dazzles with silky blind...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 1 DAY AGO

    AWESOME Bristol team try caps brilliant hat trick for Fijian league convert

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    The biggest hits and greatest carries of Sébastien Chabal at 03 and 07 World Cups

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: All 42 Test match tries scored by George North

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Josua Tuisova makes rugby look easy, this time setting up a try from No8

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Piutau sets up the epic try EVERYONE is talking about

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 12 HOURS AGO

    The time Brian O'Driscoll pushed aside physios to make heroic cup final tackle

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Toulouse flanker gets away with bizarre jump over Brive defenders

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Five seconds of pure head loss leads to red card in Super Rugby

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    The biggest hits and greatest carries of Sébastien Chabal at 03 and 07 World Cups

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Five minutes of dangerous clear outs which justify strict crackdown from refs

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 12 HOURS AGO

    The time Brian O'Driscoll pushed aside physios to make heroic cup final tackle

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Incredible Kolbe athleticism turns heavy defence into lovely counter attack in Top 14

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: Fantastic new montage demonstrates the art of jackaling at the breakdown

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    These 21 players were told they were too small to 'make it' in rugby

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Referee Pascal Gauzere admits to those two huge mistakes in England’s loss to Wales

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Wallabies prop teases opposition testes after full time despite first half red card

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Hilarious try fail has Samoan commentators in stitches

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: The funniest and most controversial moments of Wayne Barnes' career

  • 5 WEEKS AGO

    Biarritz score EPIC late try in dramatic yet hilarious fashion to win Pro D2 match

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Fijian wing who lifted a referee like Lion King now faces a disciplinary hearing

View All

Amateur

  • 18 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 55 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 55 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 55 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 56 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 9 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

  • 15 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath prop launches Amazon documentary focused on those from non-traditional backgrounds

View All
Concussion expert warns that if there are symptoms, Sexton should not be playing on Sunday | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos