Saturday 20 January 2018

Decision to keep concussed O'Driscoll from heat of battle gets thumbs up

Brian O'Driscoll
Brian O'Driscoll
David Kelly

David Kelly

A father whose 14-year-old son died after suffering head injuries while playing rugby has praised the decision not to allow Brian O'Driscoll return to the field against the All Blacks last Sunday.

O'Driscoll was removed in the second half of the game after sustaining a head injury when tackling New Zealand second-row Brodie Retallick and he was visibly aggravating for a return to the fray.

But that course of action was overruled by Irish medical staff and O'Driscoll later confirmed that he was concussed as he thanked the Irish medical staff for their responsible reaction.

"Respect to the doc for making the tough call on my head injury," O'Driscoll tweeted.

Peter Robinson, whose son Benjamin collapsed on the pitch at Carrickfergus, Co Antrim, in January, 2011 and died in hospital from head injuries, acclaimed the former Ireland captain.

"To see Bod come off was a strong suggestion that things are changing re Concussion," said Robinson, also via Twitter. "Ben wasn't so lucky. Hats off to the medics!!"

Leinster also confirmed yesterday that O'Driscoll was concussed. "Brian obviously got a knock on the head," said Leinster manager Guy Easterby. "There is a concussion there. He will have to follow the usual return-to-play protocols in terms of testing."

O'Driscoll will not play this weekend in the Pro12 clash against Scarlets at the RDS, as is the case with the other Leinster players who heavily featured during Ireland's three-match November Series.

Captain Leo Cullen may feature as he steps up his rehabilitation from ankle injury, while Fergus McFadden is out (broken hand).

Surgery has successfully stabilised Rory Best's broken arm and, with a mid-January return penned in, he should be fit enough for the build-up to Ireland's Six Nations opener against Scotland.

Irish Independent

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