Will Sonny Bill Williams pass the concussion test?

Tue, 22 Aug 2017 20:10
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Rugby Union's handling of big collisions and head knocks that lead to concussion is back in the spotlight.

This time New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams is at the centre of an incident that could have serious repercussions for the All Black medical staff.

Williams became disorientated and stumbled about after taking a heavy knock to the head, while making a tackle in his team's 54-34 win over Australia in the opening match of the Rugby Championship in Sydney last Saturday.

However, he was not checked out by the team's medical staff or the independent doctor employed to assess head injuries.

The incident was later brought to the attention of the tournament organisers, SANZAAR - South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby.

SANZAAR has subsequently approached the New Zealand Rugby Union's chief medical officer for clarity.

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While there is no formal investigation underway yet, the 'oversight' may well lead to the spotlight being shone on the All Blacks' handling of the incident.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen played down the incident and suggested in a media briefing the day after that he had not suffered any adverse effects from the collision.

"I think everyone missed it to be fair, otherwise the HIA doc would have taken him off," Hansen told reporters, referring to the Head Injury Assessment personnel.

"Our doc certainly would have taken him off."

All Black assistant coach Ian Foster said that Williams had not been pushed at training on Tuesday as a precaution, but presented with no symptoms.

"Sonny took a knock in the weekend, but he was symptom-free," Foster told reporters in Dunedin.

"The doc has done what he always does when there is a suspicion of something. He was held back a little bit today so we could make sure he was absolutely clear, but the signs are really positive."

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