World Rugby (IRB) have released a statement following a review of the head injury assessment that took place on George North in Friday night’s Wales vs England game in Cardiff. They have found that he should not have stayed on the field.
North took a boot to the face or head in the first half, so went off to be assessed. He returned to the field however, only to be accidentally headbutted by Richard Hibbard later in the game. After that collision, which looked worse, he stayed on the field.
World Rugby have done a full post-incident review, and today stated that they believe North should not have remained on the field. The statement read as follows:
“The World Rugby head injury protocol clearly states that a player should be immediately and permanently removed from the field of play where there are any visible symptoms or suspicion of a potential concussion.
However, following thorough discussions and input from the expert independent Concussion Advisory Group, World Rugby accepts the WRU’s explanation that neither the team medical staff nor the independent doctor had sight of the incident and understands that the medics acted within the framework of information they had at the time and would have taken a different course of action had they had direct pitch-side visibility or access to the same broadcast footage seen by those watching on television.
The impact was the second sustained by the player in the match, following a first half temporary removal for a head injury assessment. Having reviewed the incident report, World Rugby can confirm that the WRU followed correct protocols when assessing North following this first incident.
The WRU has outlined that the player continues to undergo close medical supervision and is undertaking supervised graduated return to play protocols.”
It goes on to say that player welfare is their number one priority, and that this incident highlights the importance of ensuring that all medical staff have the appropriate levels of support in place.
World Rugby will be promoting the implementation of the following measures:
1. World Rugby will investigate the practicality of the television match official technology being expanded to identify head injuries as they happen on the field.
2. All elite competitions will be requested to provide pitch-side video for medical staff.
3. All elite tournaments will be encouraged to adopt the RWC 2015 player welfare standards.
credit: rugby riot