Fardy Injury Adds Weight To Rugby Concussion Campaign

Head Injuries Continue To Cause Concern In Sport


Australian flanker Scott Fardy suffered concussion in the game against England at the weekend (November 2nd), adding further weight to calls for rugby players to receive better protection.

Fardy was stretchered off after colliding with England's Mike Brown, although it was later confirmed that he had not sustained any serious damage.

The Mail on Sunday has launched a campaign for greater awareness of concussion in rugby, following a number of high-profile injuries in recent weeks.

Labour MP Chris Bryant has now backed the initiative, telling the Daily Mail that players should receive mandatory education on head problems.

"Rugby is a great sport, but as our understanding of concussion and its possible long-term effects improves, the game owes it to its players to keep pace," he was quoted as saying.

Pitch Side Concussion Assessment trials have been introduced into the game, allowing medical teams to assess the wellbeing of players who have suffered a head injury.

However, there have been calls for this system to be amended, as some athletes have been given the all clear to re-enter the field of play, despite suffering from concussion.

At the moment, doctors have five minutes to judge whether a player is fit to continue, but some people believe this should be extended to at least 20 minutes.

It is not just rugby players that run the risk of sustaining a potentially serious head injury.

Yesterday, Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris played on in the Premier League match against Everton, despite losing consciousness following a collision with Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.

Brain injury charity Headway said Tottenham had displayed an "irresponsible and cavalier attitude" towards Lloris's health by allowing the French international to finish the game.

Spokesman for the organisation Luke Griggs remarked: "A physio or doctor treating a player on the pitch simply cannot accurately gauge the severity of the damage caused to the player's brain in such a setting as there may be delayed presentation of symptoms."

Expert Opinion
This weekend is yet another where the consequences of collisions in contact sports have been put under the spotlight.

"It is unsurprising to see debate continue about how head injuries in rugby are handled as scrums and tackling in the game can lead to issues, but further scope for discussion emerged at Goodison Park over the weekend.

"While rugby has regulations in relation to such issues, the same type of guidance is not yet in place in football and there is likely to be conversations about whether this should change over the coming days.

"Collisions are part and parcel of sport, but the key is to ensure a fast response when they do occur. It will be interesting to see how matters on both of these stories develop this week."
Stephen Nye, Partner