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French use of 'HIA' replacements under extra scrutiny with second stage of review

The Six Nations has stepped up the investigation into the classification of France’s replacements on Saturday.

Jalibert prepares to depart injured after clashing with Bundee Aki.
Jalibert prepares to depart injured after clashing with Bundee Aki.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE SIX NATIONS has this evening announced that the review of France’s HIA classification on two replacements made in Saturday’s loss to Ireland will move on to a second stage.

Young half-backs Mathieu Jalibert and Antoine Dupont were both marked for Head Injury Assessments during the match despite suffering what appeared to be knee injuries.

In Dupont’s case, this allowed France to bring starting scrum-half Maxime Machenaud back on the field for the closing stages of the match. He would have been required to remain on the bench if Dupont’s departure had been marked as anything other than a HIA by independent match doctor Gilles Garet.

Yesterday, the Six Nations (SNRL) confirmed they had commenced a review through independent company Alligin (UK) Limited. That initial review has concluded and has led the governing body to step up the investigation to “the second stage of World Rugby’s HIA review process,” the HIA Review Panel.

The review will be chaired by Wales’ Roger Morris and, on conclusion, the panel will make a recommendation that may include further education and training or disciplinary action.

In June, after France’s Six Nations win over Wales in March, the Six Nations issued a letter of reprimand to the FFR for not ‘complying with HIA protocol and the laws of the game’ after prop Uini Atonio was said to require a HIA and was replaced for a late set of try-line scrums by Rabah Slimani.

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Sean Farrell

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