France exonerated

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 07:37
Large antoine dupont france injured 800

UPDATE: Six Nations Rugby has produced a statement on two incidents of Head Injury Assessments in the match between France and Ireland on 3 February 2018.

In both cases players who suffered knee injuries were considered as possible head injuries. The second case was especially controversial when substitute scrumhalf Antoine Dupont was considered a head assessment injury and therefor the starting scrumhalf, Maxime Machenaud, was allowed back onto the field at a crucial stage in the match with 14 minutes to play and the score 12-6 to Ireland. Ireland eventually won 15-13.

See the law discussion: http://www.rugby365.com/laws-referees/law-discussions/83132-law-discussion-a-knee-injury-or-a-head-injury

Six Nations Rugby's Statement

HIA Review Decisions

In accordance with the (World Rugby-approved) Head Injury Assessment (HIA) Protocol that applies to the 2018 NatWest Six Nations Championships, following the senior men’s match between France and Ireland on Saturday, 3 February 2018, Six Nations Rugby referred two HIA-related incidents to its HIA Review Panel (this was the second stage of World Rugby’s HIA review process and followed an initial review by the HIA Review Processor appointed by Six Nations, Alligin (UK) Limited). The two incidents concerned, respectively, the replacement of French number 10, Matthieu Jalibert, in the 30th minute of the match, and the replacement of French number 21, Antoine Dupont, in the 76th minute of the match.

The HIA Review Panel was chaired by Roger Morris (a solicitor and experienced rugby disciplinary tribunal member from Wales), and comprised Jeremy Summers (a solicitor and experienced rugby disciplinary tribunal member from England), Dr Jon Patricios (a medical doctor and a member of World Rugby’s independent concussion advisory group from South Africa) and Dr Thierry Hermerel (the Chief Medical Officer of the Fédération Française de Rugby).

The HIA Review Panel reviewed video footage of the two incidents, the forms completed by those carrying out the HIA in each case, the written conclusions of the HIA Review Processor and written statements from over a dozen individuals connected with one or both of the incidents. The HIA Review Panel has now concluded its review and reported its conclusions to Six Nations Rugby.

In respect of the incident involving Mr Jalibert, the HIA Review Panel concluded (in summary) that:

• the player had not suffered a concussion during the relevant incident and therefore could (if not for an injury that he had sustained to his knee) have returned to the pitch after the HIA;

• the decision to call for an HIA was not made by anyone who was formally connected with the French team, rather it was made by the match day doctor, supported by the video doctor, and was based on the player having been on the ground (motionless) for a period of time; and

• while there was some debate about whether or not it had been appropriate for the match day doctor to call for an HIA in the circumstances, there was no evidence of anyone within the FFR seeking to gain a competitive advantage.

In respect of the incident involving Mr Dupont, the HIA Review Panel concluded (in summary) that:

• the player had not suffered a concussion during the relevant incident and therefore could (if not for an injury that he had sustained to his knee and the match having come to an end) have returned to the pitch after the HIA;

• the decision to call for an HIA was not made by anyone who was formally connected with the French team, rather it was made by the match day doctor, supported by the video doctor, and was based on the match officials’ earlier indication that an HIA was required;

• although the match day doctor and the video doctor should not have simply accepted the match officials’ indication that an HIA was required, it was understandable that they called for an HIA in those circumstances; and

• again, there was no evidence of anyone within the FFR seeking to gain a competitive advantage.

The HIA Review Panel also recommended certain issues be clarified in the future to try to avoid similar cases arising, and Six Nations Rugby will be liaising with World Rugby and the relevant parties on those issues. Six Nations Rugby will not be taking any disciplinary action against any of the parties involved in the two incidents.

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