World Rugby Concussion Campaign

World Rugby is helping raise concussion awareness among Rugby players, coaches and officials at all levels of the game – from the professional level down to school children.

The World Rugby Concussion Management website offers a wide range of head injury and concussion educational resources including interactive modules. Viewers can also test their concussion knowledge online.

Martin Raftery, World Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer, confirmed that any changes to the game will likely focus on tackling as part of an analysis of 900 videos of rugby player concussion incidents. According to CBC News, a young Canadian high school rugby player died this year after two head injuries a few days apart. 

The “World Rugby Recognize and Remove” concussion awareness message incorporates 6 Rs: 

  1. Recognize – Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion so you understand when an athlete might have a suspected concussion.
  2. Remove – If an athlete has a concussion or even a suspected concussion he or she must be removed from play immediately.
  3. Refer – Once removed from play, the player should be referred immediately to a qualified healthcare professional trained in evaluating and treating concussions.
  4. Rest – Players must rest from exercise until symptom-free and then start a Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) protocol. World Rugby recommends a more conservative return to play for children and adolescents. 
  5. Recover – Full recovery from the concussion is required before a return to play is authorized. This includes being symptom-free. Rest and specific treatment options are critical for the health of the injured athlete.
  6. Return – In order for safe return to play in Rugby, the athlete must be symptom-free and cleared in writing by a qualified healthcare professional trained in evaluating and treating concussions. The athlete completes the protocol.

World Rugby developed the World Rugby Concussion Guidance document to provide guidance and information to all persons involved in the game of rugby. These detailed guidelines are for all players — male and female, adults, adolescents and children. They are also available in seven languages.

For more information

  • World Rugby Concussion Management, World Rugby
  • Rugby World Cup 2015: World Rugby planning law change to cut concussion risk, The Telegraph
  • Rowan Stringer ignored concussion symptoms days before death, CBC News

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John Boyd
John joined Slater Vecchio in December 2012. He brings twelve years of trial experience with him and has represented clients before the Supreme Court of British Columbia and the British Columbia Court of Appeal.