Sunday 20 August 2017

Dangers of concussion must come to a head

IN the wake of the retirement of Leinster hooker John Fogarty, there must be concern amongst the Irish players at the growing casualty rate within Irish rugby and the consequent insurance issues.

Rory Best praised Fogarty after the announcement, but was careful to defend Irish rugby's record, despite Bernard Jackman's horrific confessions of repeated concussion.

"I think concussion especially is taken very seriously. I can only talk from within the IRFU and the Ulster Branch, but we have all our baseline test done at the beginning of every season so that if you do pick up a knock or a bump, you straight away refer back to that," said Best.

"There is absolutely no risk taken. Unfortunately, it is a contact sport and you tend to lead a lot into players with your head, with and without the ball. There are always going to be cases of it.

"But from a player-welfare point of view, the IRFU do everything they can to make sure the risk is lessened as much as it can be."

However, Touchlines can recall three players in the past 12 months who have tottered around on the field of play after receiving a heavy hit before being cleared to continue.

Does someone have to be seriously injured before this issue is addressed? DK

Irish Independent

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