Six Nations address French HIA controversy

Sun, 04 Feb 2018 15:55
Large france v ireland 2018 800

UPDATE: Following Saturday's Ireland France clash in Paris, the Six Nations have addressed the controversy around the circumstances in which two France players were subject to HIA protocols, despite no clear head injuries having been sustained.

Both flyhalf Matthieu Jalibut and scrumhalf Antoine Dupont both seemed to suffer injuries to their lower limbs, but when they left the field the French medical team said that both needed HIAs.

On the 30th minute teenage debutant Jalibut left the field apparently with a knee injury, yet he was assessed as a HIA.

On the 76th minute Dupont left, again with what looked like a leg injury, and again a HIA was ordered. Irish captain Jonathan Sexton queried referee Nigel Owens, who himself questioned the match day doctor, who clarified that Dupont was indeed going to have a HIA.

"SNRL [Six Nations Rugby Limited] has in place a Head Injury Assessment Protocol that applies to the 2018 Championships, which has been approved by World Rugby.

"As part of that protocol, there is a process by which HIA/concussion-related incidents are reviewed. This involves an initial review by an independent HIA Review Processor, Alligin (UK) Limited, and then in certain cases a further review by an HIA Review Panel.

"The HIA Review Panel can as part of its review make recommendations [among other things] as to further education and training that is required, and/or whether disciplinary action should be taken by SNRL. This two-stage review process is required by World Rugby.

"The HIA Review Processor is reviewing a number of incidents from the France v Ireland match in the senior men's championship. Depending on their findings, SNRL will be considering the next steps in respect of those incidents."

Under the HIA protocols, medical staff can assess the player for up to ten minutes. Theoretically, it would allow a player a longer period of time to be treated by doctors before potentially being brought back onto the pitch.

Crucially, it allowed Maxime Machenaud to come back onto the pitch in the closing minutes of the game for the final scrum, despite leaving the field as an injury replacement.

Brian O'Driscoll lead the charge in relation to the apparent misuse of the protocols.

Jamie Cudmore's concussion foundation – The Rugby Safety Network – also branded France's apparent use of the protocol as a tactic. "When a protocol put in place to protect player welfare is used as a tactic like it blatantly was by French today action must be taken or the entire HIA and concussion protocol is taken from. Abuse of process cannot go unsanctioned."

By Ian Cameron, Rugbypass

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Bath v Sale Sharks 14h30 Recreation Ground
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 14h30 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Fri, 02 March 2018
Blues v Chiefs 06h35 Eden Park
Reds v Brumbies 09h00 Suncorp Stadium
Kings v Dragons 17h35 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 19h35 Kingspan Stadium
Edinburgh v Munster 19h35 Myreside
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 19h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Harlequins v Bath 19h45 Twickenham Stoop
Sat, 03 March 2018
Sunwolves v Rebels 22h00 Tokyo
Crusaders v Stormers 06h35 Christchurch
RESULT SCORE
Sat, 24 February 2018
Waratahs v Stormers 34 | 27
Crusaders v Chiefs 45 | 23
Sunwolves v Brumbies 25 | 32
Fri, 23 February 2018
France v Italy 34 | 17
Leinster v Kings 64 | 7
Dragons v Edinburgh 12 | 25
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 21 | 10
Rebels v Reds 45 | 19
Highlanders v Blues 41 | 34
Mon, 19 February 2018
NWU-Pukke v UJ 18 | 15
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 27 | 32
Maties v CUT-Ixias 75 | 12
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 29 | 32
Sun, 18 February 2018
Dragons v Treviso 15 | 18
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13 | 7
SIX NATIONS
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Ireland 2 2 0 0 9
England 2 2 0 0 9
Wales 2 1 0 1 6
France 3 1 0 2 6
Scotland 2 1 0 1 4
Italy 3 0 0 3 0