Growing controversy surrounding Healy incident

Mon, 12 Mar 2018 08:30
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT: A global concussion advocate is among those levelling criticism at rugby following an on-field incident involving Cian Healy, in which the Irish loosehead appeared to play on following an alleged head injury.

Video of the incident appears to show Healy stumble while receiving medical attention before moments later returning to play, as onrushing players approached where he was receiving treatment.

Christopher Nowinski – Co-founder and Executive Director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation – criticised the failure of those involved to pause the game after a video of the incident surfaced on Twitter.

"This the kind of worst-case scenario that should lead to an immediate rule change or training and punishment," said Nowinski. "Someone has to be able to stop this game or get the presumably concussed player out of harms ways."

Nowinski was reacting to a video posted by Cahair O'Kane, which has been viewed over 100 000 times.

Concussion campaigner Peter Robinson – the father of rugby player Ben Robinson who died following two concussive incidents – then posted another video which appeared to show an accidental blow to Healy's head when he attempted to tackle Scottish fullback Stuart Hogg.

Criticism was levelled at the medical staff who were treating Healy and who appeared to let him return to play.

He didn't undergo a HIA and returned to play in the second-half. Ireland went on to win the game, before being crowned Six Nations Champions a few hours later following England's loss to France in the Stade de France.

It is not the first HIA issue of the tournament.

The Six Nations launched a 'review' of France's HIA protocols following the opening France Ireland match in Paris on February 3. Tournament organisers then issued the findings of their review which effectively cleared all involved in the two incidents of any impropriety or any attempt by the French to gain a competitive edge.

The review did however confirm that neither player was concussed in either incident. The two incidents caused an uproar among fans, pundits and former players on social media, many of whom branded it as an attempt by the French to gain an advantage.

By Ian Cameron, Rugbypass

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