Do Not Sell My Personal Information
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Thursday Aug 24, 2017

SANZAAR release statement on Sonny Bill Williams continuing to play despite being knocked out

SANZAAR release statement on Sonny Bill Williams continuing to play despite being knocked out
18
Comments

Following a worrying head-knock incident in the opening minutes of the Rugby Championship clash between Australia and New Zealand, SANZAAR have released a statement saying that they have urgently reinforced the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocols.

All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams was clearly ‘sparked’ when making a tackle just two minutes into the game in Sydney. Footage shows that he tackled Michael Hooper and possibly knocked heads with teammate Joe Moody, then got up looking punch-drunk, with his legs all over the place as though he had been KO’d when boxing.

He regathered his senses and actually made two more tackles in the same phase of play, but he looked in bad shape and in the third tackle it looked like he took another blow to the face or head.

According to current World Rugby HIA protocols, Williams should have been removed from the field for an assessment. Instead, he played the full eighty minutes, contributing to the emphatic 54-34 with a try in the first half.

SANZAAR today released a statement to say that they investigated the incident and have stressed the importance of the HIA protocols to all teams, medical staff and match officials involved in the tournament.

Followng a review, they established that there was not a deliberate failure or an ‘untoward incident’ as such took no further action for anything that constitutes misconduct.

They did however acknowledge the following:

  • The incident was not identified during the game via the appointed HIA specialist, the match day doctor, the team doctors or the match officials
  • The available post-game video confirms ataxia (the loss of full control of bodily movements), which would trigger immediate and permanent removal under World Rugby protocols
  • While no process is entirely failsafe, the review panel determined that the missed HIA incident should have been identified during the match

The SANZAAR statement said:

“Following the investigation, and to ensure player welfare standards and HIA protocols are tightened, SANZAAR has immediately initiated the roll out of additional educational modules for all match day medical staff, team management and match officials.

“The intent is to ensure best practice methods are entrenched through refreshing the knowledge of medical personnel and expanding the knowledge to match officials and team management in recognising the symptoms with Ataxia (unsteadiness) and suspected loss of consciousness.

“SANZAAR has communicated with the National Unions of Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa to remind all match day staff, team management and match officials that continual education and best practices are a collective responsibility to ensure player welfare standards are upheld at all times in and out of competition.”

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos stated that it’s an unfortunate incident given all the attention placed on player safety and head injury prevention in rugby at the moment. 

“Even though there was no deliberate failure apparent, SANZAAR has taken the opportunity to strongly reinforce World Rugby HIA protocols including video analysis during the game, to all teams, match day medical staff and match officials participating in The Rugby Championship.
 
“Additionally, New Zealand Rugby has confirmed that Sonny Bill Williams is being managed in line with World Rugby HIA protocols, including HIA 3 and computer neuro-cognitive assessment, and will progress to a graduated return to play if asymptomatic,” added Marinos.

Williams has been named in the New Zealand squad to host the Wallabies this coming weekend.

18 Comments

  • drg
    11:19 AM 03/09/2017

    Don't disagree with the sentiments, but I'm not sure the business of rugby will allow players to push such 'weakness'.... *for clarification I'm writing this thinking from the rugby business point of view... not my own... Players coming through at their sort of mid teens should be very aware of the field of play, they should be big and strong - carry a lot of muscle mass, but also fast and agile, they should be willing to put everything on the line so that when they leave the pitch they do so either by being carried off, or by using their reserve tank to get them into the changing rooms. Look at AB's v Aus, Australia had the game right up until that last minute, that is the 'never say die' attitude we want from players... players do not need to analyse their own bodies, they should be 100% focused on the game and the actions they need to take - the staff and medical staff can monitor a players health, not the player themselves. Any percentage of a players mind wondering if their toe is a little bit too sore to carry on, is a percentage not being used in the next ruck/maul/tackle/offload etc. ....Games these days are won and lost by inches, players need to be willing to lay everything on the line regardless of it's toll... ....that is my sentiments on how the game is being pushed as a business..... The problem is, we've seen a few rugby players now suffering the long term effects of concussion, but the generation coming through is the mk2-3 version of those players....so all the grit, dirt, aggression, BUT with added gym, nutrition and training....I think Mk4 players are already seeing the recipe for success and are probably too far gone, it's only probably the u10's these days that will be nurtured into not being vegetables in their mid 40's...

    Reply
  • heavyhooker
    3:19 PM 28/08/2017

    I am sorry, SBW should wear this square on. The biggest problem we have is that players at all ages are too stubborn to know that concussions kill. In Canada we had a had a young woman die because she played through two head hits. It must be emphasized to the players that in the end, it is their responsibility to say when they think they have been head hit. They do it for other body injuries but ignore the head/ My take is that hefty finds should be dealt out to the medical staff, AB coaches and staff and to SBW. Until players like Williams stand up, during a game, and state they need to be removed and assessed, younger players will not take it seriously. Maybe we need a professional player to die on the pitch to get things moving.

    Reply
  • drg
    6:29 PM 27/08/2017

    Laws...

    Reply
  • pgrugby
    11:05 PM 26/08/2017

    Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that at the international and professional level the player will be looked at by a sports doctor or a even a neurologist. They can then overrule the 12 day for all cases rule as they have the expertise to do so ... and in some cases they will say it has to be longer than 12 days, or even consider retiring. Maybe he had a CAT scan or MRI to ensure his brain isn't swollen? Here's a thought, do the announcers and/or tv crew have a moral obligation to report the head injury to a match official? They spotted it and announced it live as it happened. Knowing all that we now due about the serious risks, maybe they should?

    Reply
  • 6:07 PM 26/08/2017

    We're not where. Hey, it may be rugby not playing by the rules but you should always play by the rules of correct spelling!

    Reply
  • drg
    1:17 AM 26/08/2017

    Tbh, I'm not suggesting a great conspiracy, but given the usual amount of laptop screens and eyes around the place in the coaching staff rooms, it's pretty piss poor that no one noticed their players wobbling around like a drunken cretin.... Basically they were either recklessly endangering one of their players by seeing it and ignoring it, or they're incompetent and none of them saw it..... Not a great selection to choose from...

    Reply
  • dancarter
    11:39 PM 25/08/2017

    If they aren't going to be enforced, then having all of these rules and guidelines is pointless. I think it is getting to the point where the only way to enforce these rules is to punish teams who don't take off players for HIAs after a clear head injury, and for allowing players to return post-HIA when they are clearly unfit to do so. From a player welfare point of view it is very worrying. Also, I recently completed an online course called rugbyright which is required for all match officials, which is associated with the Scottish rugby union. They advise 12 days minimum between a concussion injury and a return to play in adults, yet SBW is in the XV to face Australia 1 week after his injury. Seems very odd.

    Reply
  • dancarter
    11:23 PM 25/08/2017

    Yeah, I agree. Pretty sure Hooper did something similar to make himself available for the Lions series in 2013. It should be 1st class games for a super rugby or international side only.

    Reply
  • 1:25 PM 25/08/2017

    OK... So you're telling us that both the ABs medical team and the World Ruby-appointed MDD (see above) missed the incident. The Australians (having long since given up on playing rugby) had some free time on their hands, noticed the incident, and reported it - as they are required to do. Protocol was then followed. Why, yes, that totally sounds like a conspiracy by which those dirty All Blacks managed to keep a clearly groggy player on the pitch, while leaving his replacement (one of Super Rugby's top try-scorers) on the bench. Cheating bastards!

    Reply
  • misterdavid
    12:38 PM 25/08/2017

    "The incident was not identified during the game via the appointed HIA specialist, the match day doctor, the team doctors or the match officials" - Well they should be fired. We all could see it, as clear as day. If they couldn't (or wouldn't) they are clearly not up to the task and should be replaced immediately before someone else gets dangerously hurt. "The available post-game video confirms ataxia (the loss of full control of bodily movements), which would trigger immediate and permanent removal under World Rugby protocols" - A complete cop-out. All of the footage was available immediately, at the time. It did not need to be sent to the lab to be processed. A child watching at home could see the issue. Professionals, paid to protect the health of the players, couldn't. It's ridiculous.

    Reply
  • drg
    10:53 AM 25/08/2017

    Incredible that this can happen in such a high profile rugby match. Genuinely don't understand the idea of an independent doctor, we have 1 referee, 2 touch judges and a video referee to watch over the game.... And 1 doctor?

    Reply
  • 10:30 AM 25/08/2017

    Seriously, this whinge again? There is an independent Match Day Doctor at every Test, precisely because team doctors sometimes miss head impacts. See the first two bullets under "MATCH DUTIES OF MDD", here: http://images.supersport.com/content/wrHIAProtocol.pdf If the MDD also misses the incident, then you want to blame the team? In what way did the All Blacks benefit from having a clearly unfit player on the pitch when they had a fit and able replacement on the bench? ... Oh that's right. This was never about the facts, it was only another whinge about the All Blacks.

    Reply
  • andinov
    8:14 AM 25/08/2017

    This is damaging to the game and needs to be properly dealt with. Can you imagine if SBW was in a boxing match, gets knocked out, woken up and put immediately back in the ring there would be uproar.

    Reply
  • able2train
    10:43 PM 24/08/2017

    As an individual that teaches junior rugby players, coaches & parents about Traumatic Brain Injuries I am disgusted that the lawmakers & pitchside medical staff continue to flout the laws & compromise player safety. I designed & use this visual aid to allow people to see damage to a brain caused by bleeding/swelling inside the skull ... YouTube may be easier to view ... https://youtu.be/gs4tkZcbkz4

    Reply
  • able2train
    10:34 PM 24/08/2017

    As an individual that teaches junior rugby players, coaches & parents about Traumatic Brain Injuries I am disgusted that the lawmakers & pitchside medical staff continue to flout the laws & compromise player safety. I designed & use this visual aid to allow people to see damage to a brain caused by bleeding/swelling inside the skull ... Take a look at @ViralBug's Tweet: https://twitter.com/ViralBug/status/825703642414059520?s=09

    Reply
  • 4:25 PM 24/08/2017

    Sad. They still haven't learnt. One game now but hey, he won't feel the results for a decade or so, so what's it matter? Ok, been banging on about this for a while now, but no one outside of the US is taking any real notice, just flouting their 'where just making these rules up because it makes us look good'.

    Reply
  • pdg
    3:51 PM 24/08/2017

    Smacks of one rule for evrryone else and another for the All Blacks. Don't believe it at all that no one from their team spotted it, no one from the medical unit, and the TMO is definitely rewuired to visit Specsavers for nrw glasses, contact lenses, or replacement lenses. Definite failure in the recognition system which will need a thorough scrutiny begore another game is played

    Reply
  • im1
    2:34 PM 24/08/2017

    Shouldn't have been playing in the game. Serves him right for making up that BS game and having it count as one of his banned games (not that he is injured as never want to see that, but that he will now likely miss more games due to getting an inury in a game he should not have played in)

    Reply


Great Tries

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

View All

See It To Believe It

View All

Funnies

View All

Amateur

View All

Player Features

View All
SANZAAR release statement on Sonny Bill Williams continuing to play despite being knocked out | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos