When Northampton Saint’s Welsh winger George North was knocked unconscious in a clash of heads in the Six Nations this year it caused outrage. The hit was missed by the home medical team as there was no replay facility on the side line and so he kept playing. It took him months to recover.
Concussion incidents in Rugby have increased dramatically as a result of heavy weight collisions. It is encouraging that World Rugby has now appointed independent medical experts to monitor players who will have the final say when a player is safe to return to the pitch.
Video coverage has also been extended to the side of the pitch and changing rooms which allows the experts to see how an injury occurred and help assess whether a player has been concussed.
As a personal injury lawyer who specialises in brain injury cases and the mother of a son who plays the game I understand all too well how post-concussion syndrome can cause loss of memory, poor concentration, irritability and migraine headaches so it is heartening to see that the issue of concussion is now being taken very seriously. With World Rugby now reviewing videos of concussion incidents there may be some more changes coming.