Friday 20 October 2017

Munster to face investigation over Conor Murray HIA incident

Conor Murray of Munster is treated for an injury. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Conor Murray of Munster is treated for an injury. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR), the Champions Cup organisers, are set to launch an investigation into the incident that saw Conor Murray go off for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) during the second-half of their win over Glasgow Warriors on Saturday.

The scrum-half went down following a collision with Warriors second-row Tim Swinson and received lengthy treatment from the medical team, before carrying on and making another big hit on Josh Strauss.

However, when the Munster medics reviewed the footage Murray was removed to undergo a HIA. He passed that test and returned to the field.

Treatment of head injuries is under major scrutiny at the moment, after Northampton Saints had their knuckles wrapped over the controversial failure to remove George North from the field of play against Leicester Tigers last month.

The Murray incident drew plenty of criticism on social media, with former England and Lions prop Alex Corbisiero describing it as "ridiculous", adding he was "shocked, saddened and disappointed" that Murray returned to the field of play.

The Irish Independent understands that EPCR's Medical Advisory Group, which is headed by the RFU's Simon Kemp, has begun the process of establishing an independent working group entitled 'The Untoward Incident Review Group', who will review the incident before making a ruling.

EPCR began the process of contacting the match officials and Munster Rugby to establish a timeline of how the incident unfolded and to get the findings of the HIA.

The province have clarified that their medical team assessed Murray in the aftermath of the incident and were satisfied that he was showing no signs of concussion.

On subsequent review of the footage of the incident, the medical team then decided to remove the scrum-half to undergo the Head Injury Assessment (HIA 1) "as a precaution".

He passed that test and returned to the field of play to complete the game and then passed a second HIA in the dressing-room after the game.

The Group is likely to convene this week to review the incident and make a finding.

Munster are sweating on captain Peter O'Mahony ahead of their final Pool 1 game against Racing 92 on Saturday as he enters the Return to Play protocols after failing his own HIA on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend has labelled Munster as "one of the best sides in Europe".

"They are a quality side, one of the best in Europe," he said. "We are disappointed not to win, disappointed that we didn't take opportunities that we worked hard to create."

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