Toby Greene goes public with startling confession after Nathan Murphy's AFL retirement

The Giants captain revealed he used to play through concussions by hiding his symptoms.

GWS Giants captain Toby Greene has lifted the lid on how he used to play through concussions by hiding his symptoms from club medical staff so he was available to play the next match. The skipper revealed to Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Tuesday that in the past, he would choose not to disclose his symptoms to doctors as the panel discussed the brutal concussion of GWS' Sam Taylor in the match against St Kilda last Saturday.

Taylor has been cleared of any serious injury after undergoing assessments at Canberra Hospital, but there is currently no timeline for his return. On Tuesday Greene was asked point-blank by Herald Sun journalist Mark Robinson if he had deliberately misled club doctors in the past surrounding concussion symptoms to which he replied: "Yeah, yeah of course".

Pictured left Toby Greene and right Nathan Murphy
Toby Greene revealed he used to play through concussions by hiding his symptoms amid news Nathan Murphy was forced to retire from the AFL at age 24 after multiple concussions. Image: Getty

When they asked about how many times he had done it Greene said: "Less than five (times), less than five". The star forward was also asked about how common it was for AFL players to shrug off concussions as not serious, to which Greene said it is becoming less common with the increased education surrounding the seriousness of head injuries.

"No, I wouldn’t say ‘common’," Greene said. "Certainly, in my early years (I had) a lot more disregard for (concussion) than I do now, but I wouldn’t say it’s common practice, no."

Toby Greene says rise of concussions hasn't changed how he plays

Head injuries are under the microscope across the sporting world and with more information surrounding the long-term effects of the injury becoming better understood, many codes have made adaptations to the way the game is played to try to prevent head blows. But Greene says he continues to play AFL like he always has.

"I don’t think I’ve changed anything from the day I walked into today," he said. "I’m certainly more aware of the effects (and) not reporting or misreporting, we’re certainly more aware of that (as players).

"I don’t think I’ve changed anything in my game, to be honest. I got kicked out of the midfield and played in the forward line, that was probably the best thing for it. I wouldn’t say I’ve changed my attack on the ball in any way. We understand (concussion is) part of the game and the effects are long-lasting. We’re a lot more aware and I’m a lot more aware now as an older player."

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 13: Toby Greene of the Giants walks from the field after victory during the round five AFL match between Greater Western Sydney Giants and St Kilda Saints at Manuka Oval, on April 13, 2024, in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/AFL Photos/Getty Images)
Toby Greene admitted he had previously deliberately misled club doctors about his concussion symptoms.

Nathan Murphy forced to medically retire

Nathan Murphy announced on Tuesday that he has been forced to medically retire from the AFL. The Collingwood defender copped a concussion in last year's grand final and hadn't been able to return to the field this year.

Murphy was examined by the league's concussion panel and was initially given the green light last December to resume his career. However, he picked up another knock at training in January, which ultimately proved the final straw. And on Tuesday the 24-year-old announced he'd been forced to retire on the advice of medical professionals. “I feel it is the right time and the right decision for me to hang up my footy boots,” Murphy said.


“I love my football, but my priority is on my future and ensuring I live a full and healthy life. I’d like to thank the club, coaches, teammates, staff and the Magpie army for all their support throughout my playing career and for allowing me the opportunity to live out my childhood dream of playing AFL.

“To my family and friends, I couldn’t have gone through this journey without your continued love and support which I am so grateful for. It is not lost on me how fortunate I am to have been able to experience premiership success with this group and club. I hope I did the jumper proud and thank the many people and supporters who helped me along the way. I will forever cherish the memories and friends I’ve made at our great club.”

Murphy is the second player this year to retire because of a concussion suffered in last year's finals series after Melbourne midfielder Angus Brayshaw called time on his career in February. Brayshaw was knocked unconscious in a controversial incident with Brayden Maynard in the first week of the 2023 finals.