England Star Questions Concussion Protocols

Alex Corbisiero Says Rugby's Concussion Rules Are "Laughable"


An international rugby union star has spoken out about the sport's concussion protocols.

England's Alex Corbisiero thinks the regulations and procedures used to deal with head injuries are "laughable".

The 25-year-old - who is currently out of action due to a knee injury - was quoted by the Daily Mail as saying: "As a player, you feel like you have very little say or control over how you can actually change the game.

"In rugby, we play 30-plus games a year. We do contact all through the week in training and then take minimal time off in the summer before we are back into contact training and the season."

Corbisiero added that he does not know of a single rugby player who has not sustained a concussion or sub-concussive blow in their career.

He also stated that Cogsport - a computerised test that decides whether a player is fit enough to continue following a head injury - is flawed.

"You can pass that concussed or not concussed," the Northampton Saints star remarked, before suggesting the test is not an "acceptable guideline".

The RFU - the sport's governing body in England - recently announced plans to introduce a compulsory concussion education programme, which will be in place before the start of next season.

It is hoped the new system will raise awareness of brain injuries in rugby and will give players, coaches and referees a better understanding of what to do if somebody suffers a blow to the head. RFU chiefs also added that changes made at the top level of the game could filter down into grass roots versions of the sport.

The Mail on Sunday has also been running a Concussion Campaign, which has been shortlisted for The Cudlipp Award at the British Press Awards.

In January 2014, the news provider welcomed the RFU's decision to launch an educational programme for professionals - something the publication had long been campaigning for.

Expert Opinion
The past few months have seen concussion in sport come into the spotlight like never before and any discussion or debate around the issue has to be welcomed. Regardless of the sport involved, it is clear that concussion and any kind of head injury is a major concern which needs to be treated carefully.

"It is excellent more steps are taken to offer compulsory concussion education in rugby in particularly and we are hopeful that this will help people across the sport properly understand this issue.

"Through our work we have seen the huge consequences that head injuries can have on victims and it is clear that action is needed on this issue."
Stephen Nye, Partner