World Rugby bolsters concussion protocols

·1-min read

World Rugby has moved to strengthen concussion protocols, with independent specialists set to review cases when Test players return to action after a head injury.

World Rugby will launch a panel of Independent Concussion Consultants (ICCs) to provide expert opinion on whether players are ready to return to action after head knocks.

The global governing body will fully fund the process for Test-level competitions, with ICCs asked to rule when players look to return to action 10 days or fewer after a concussion or on players deemed higher risk due to previous head-injury history.

"This will become an integral part of the graduated return-to-play process for the elite game," said World Rugby's chief medical officer Eanna Falvey.

"We've used the ICC at the World Cup in 2015 and 2019, particularly in a tight game turnaround.

"But we consulted with our concussion working group and we had a significant review process of what we could do to strengthen the graduated return to play. And the addition of the ICC was seen as the best option."

World Rugby has also signed off on welfare-focused law trials, that will come into effect globally from August 1.

The 50-22 kick and goal line dropout were Rugby Australia initiatives for the Super Rugby AU and Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competitions.

The 50-22 rule, which is almost identical in concept to the NRL's 40-20 rule, sees attacking teams winning a lineout by punting the ball from their own half and out on the bounce in the opponent's 22.

The goal line drop-out will replace five-metre scrums when a player is held up over the tryline.

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