Concussion is the the most common injury – and most serious – in Premiership Rugby, according to a new report.
Following a number of high-profile cases, rugby head injuries have become a focal point. One of the biggest incidents was the injury to the British and Irish Lions international George North.
North, while playing for Northampton in December, suffered a suspected concussion during a game against Leicester. The team’s medics allowed him to return to the action, a decision World Rugby recently ruled was the wrong one.
Concussion has long-term impact
Another high profile case is that of former Wales forward Jonathan Thomas. He retired from rugby in 2015 after being diagnosed with epilepsy. It is thought the epilepsy is linked to head traumas suffered during his career.
An injury report now reveals that concussion accounts for 25% of all match injuries, and 20% of all injuries to the ball carrier. Nearly half of all injuries to tacklers (47%) are concussion related.
Concussion rates have risen by 7% on the past season, despite the overall injury rate dropping.
A priority for the game
“The continued rise in the number of reported concussions in the professional game continues to be an area of priority focus for everyone involved in the game,” Simon Kemp, Rugby Football Union chief medical officer said.
“Medical staff are all working extremely hard to ensure that we are identifying and managing this complex injury well.
“We all want players who are subsequently diagnosed with concussion to be removed from the field of play at the time of injury and recognise that this approach is likely to see an increase in the number of reported concussions. While we continue to ‘recognise and remove’, our focus must now be on concussion prevention.”
Corin Palmer, Head of Rugby Operations at Premiership Rugby added: “The focus on concussion from everyone in the game shows the cultural change, resulting from Premiership Rugby’s work with the Rugby Football Union and the Rugby Players’ Association to increase awareness and education about the seriousness of concussion, has come into effect in every area of the professional game.”
Source: The Telegraph
Date Published: January 31, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown