Friday 23 February 2018

Zero tolerance of concussion vital at all levels - Quinlan

Richardt Strauss, Leinster, after picking up a knock against the Dragons on Sunday
Richardt Strauss, Leinster, after picking up a knock against the Dragons on Sunday
Cian Tracey

Cian Tracey

It's the burning issue in rugby, and Alan Quinlan has urged those highlighting concussion to be "proactive in taking positive steps" towards finding a solution to a problem that shows no signs of easing.

Speaking at the Topaz Cash for Clubs scheme yesterday, the former Munster and Ireland back-row was adamant that the IRFU and World Rugby are doing everything within their power to raise awareness.

"It's too easy to say that the problem is as a result of players getting bigger and stronger," Quinlan said.

"There is certainly a case to be made that guys have more power and there is more of an emphasis on defence.

"There isn't much space to work with these days so there are more collisions."

The Tipperary native insisted that the players must take more responsibility upon themselves but, speaking from experience, acknowledged that it can sometimes be difficult to do.

"Players are definitely conscious of their own safety but sometimes in the heat of battle, you might not realise that you need medical attention," he admitted.


"The adrenaline is pumping and the heart is racing. But in saying that, the zero tolerance attitude is vital. Not only for rugby at the top level but all the way down to Junior and underage players.

"If a good example is set from those on TV, people will realise how serious it is, but I would certainly stop short of scaremongering."

Quinlan rubbished the notion that players deliberately underperform in base-line 'Cogsport' tests in order to more easily pass return-to-play protocols after concussions.

"I've heard that said by a lot of people but it's absolute nonsense. Players just don't to that," he said.

"They answer these tests as honestly as they can regardless of when they have to undergo them.

"We saw last November how Dr Eanna Falvey insisted that Conor Murray come off the pitch and that's the sort of example we want being set."

Commenting on Ireland's Six Nations campaign to date, Quinlan believes that there is still plenty to come from Joe Schmidt's side.

"We're winning ugly but the players will gel and score more tries. It can often be dangerous to run before you walk," he said.

"We're only two Tests into a long year. The foundations have been laid, it's about building on them now."

Irish Independent

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