Thursday 18 January 2018

McFadden hails Bath's Banahan after head scare

Leinster's Fergus McFadden during their captain's run. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road
Leinster's Fergus McFadden during their captain's run. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

Fergus McFadden has paid tribute to Bath winger Matt Banahan after his opponent drew referee Jerome Garces' attention to his concussion last Saturday.

The Kildare native was knocked out cold when he collided with Kyle Eastmond's shoulder in the early stages of the second half of Leinster's win at the Aviva Stadium, but players from both teams attempted to ruck over him in the heat of battle. Banahan, however, was at close quarters to the incident and immediately gestured that the 27-year-old had injured his head to make sure play was stopped.

"The respect levels went up massively when I looked back at the footage and saw him do that," McFadden said. "It was such a big game you can get lost a bit in the atmosphere. Your adrenaline is pumping. Sometimes in a certain scenario some guys could almost applaud it but he tried to stop the game as quickly as possible. Fair play to him.


"Maybe people are aware of it now after what's happened with the likes of George North. You break an arm on the field and you play on then all well and good. You can go away and get an operation. If something happens someone's head, it's not very curable. It's good guys are aware."

The topic of concussion continues to rage after Harlequins' Mike Brown was again stood down as he continued to report symptoms seven weeks after being stretchered off playing for England against Italy. McFadden is undergoing the return to play protocols and appears unlikely to feature against Dragons on Sunday.

"I've a few boxes to tick if I'm going to come into consideration. We'll see how the week pans out," he said. "I was out cold. He caught me flush on the jaw with his shoulder. Eastmond is quite small, technically it was a high hit but I was ducking into him. In fairness to him, there was no malice in it, he came back up to me to make sure I was okay."

Irish Independent

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