Australia’s National Rugby League has introduced tighter concussion protocols.
Players with ‘category one’ symptoms in matches or training will now have to stand down for at least 11 days.
They could have previously returned within a week if cleared by an independent medical expert.
“There is no greater priority for us than player safety,” Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys said.
“It’s front and centre of everything we do.”
Category one symptoms include loss of consciousness, players being unsteady on their feet or failing to protect themselves when falling.
If a player suffers a ‘category two’ concussion – failing a concussion test in the dressing room as opposed to on the field – they may be able to return earlier but only after a review by an independent neurological expert appointed by the NRL.
The new protocols will begin immediately, starting with the league’s third round of games on Thursday.
The issue of concussion in the NRL has been in the spotlight this week after Newcastle Knights captain Kalyn Ponga suffered his fourth head injury in 10 months in his side’s win over Wests Tigers on Sunday.
Source – BBC Sport
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