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Returning to play from concussion – a Q&A with Dr Eanna Falvey, Chief Medical Officer at World Rugby

Returning to play from concussion – a Q&A with Dr Eanna Falvey, Chief Medical Officer at World Rugby

Could you set out the changes in the rules around how a player in elite rugby will return to the game after a concussion?

In the simplest terms, we’re focusing on each player’s medical history when it comes to concussion and what their symptoms are at diagnosis. Players with a history of concussion or who have suffered obvious symptoms will now have to sit out for at least 12 days, most players will miss their next match.

What was wrong with the old protocols?

There wasn’t anything wrong with them, they have always been advanced using the latest evidence and expert opinion. We continue to follow external independent advice and to improve our knowledge with rugby-based research.

What about the women’s game? How do these changes impact there?

These changes apply equally to the men’s and women’s elite game. World Rugby is very conscious of increasing evidence which shows men and women present concussion symptoms differently and that women can be more susceptible to certain incidents than men. We commissioned the University of Otago and University of Ulster to undertake the biggest study of its kind on head impact in rugby. The study looks at roughly equal numbers of male and female players and the results there will tell us a lot more and we’ll make further changes if that is what our independent experts tell us that is what is needed.

Source: world.rugby