Review finds that Munster followed all protocols in Murray incident

The scrum-half was at the centre of a controversial incident last weekend.

Updated at 15.08

THE UNTOWARD INCIDENT Review into Munster’s management of Conor Murray in an incident during last weekend’s Champions Cup clash with Glasgow has found that the province satisfactorily followed all concussion protocols.

Conor Murray and Rhys Marshall celebrate after the match Murray after last weekend's win in Glasgow. Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Ireland international scrum-half was knocked to the ground in a tackle on Glasgow’s Tin Swinson at Scotstoun last weekend, with some commentators and pundits stating that Murray should have been immediately removed from the field of play for a Head Injury Assessment, while others suggested he should have been permanently replaced.

EPCR’s Medical Advisory Board subsequently put together a working group to carry out an Untoward Incident Review of Munster’s management of the incident, with the RFU’s Simon Kemp acting as chairman of the group.

It is understood that the UIR has found that Munster’s medical team followed all of World Rugby’s guidelines in relation to possible concussions.

An official report is expected early next week, but it is set to include confirmation that Munster did not mismanage Murray after his tackle on Swinson and that he did not display any symptoms of concussion that should have led to his permanent removal.

Murray played on after the tackle on Swinson last weekend, but then left the pitch for a HIA minutes later, passing that assessment and returning to the field of play to help Munster to a win that saw them secure a quarter-final place.

The 27-year-old then passed HIA 2 after the game and came through the following days without displaying any signs of concussion. Murray insisted that it was a neck and shoulder issue that had affected him after the tackle on Swinson, rather than his head.

While a sanction against Munster was not expected, they will be relieved to be cleared of any wrongdoing in this instance, given that they have stressed their awareness of the danger of head injuries.

A statement issued this afternoon by EPCR reads:

The EPCR Untoward Incident Review Group has met on several occasions to discuss the Conor Murray incident in the European Rugby Champions Cup match between Glasgow Warriors and Munster Rugby on 14 January 2017. The Group, whilst acknowledging its role is to review the application of the World Rugby Head Injury Assessment protocol, has player welfare at its core. The opinion of the Group is that Mr Murray did not demonstrate any criteria that should have led to his immediate and permanent removal from the field of play. The player underwent further assessment by Munster Rugby’s medical team and its specialist advisors and, as such, the decision as to when the player returns to play rests with Munster. The Group will deliver its full report in due course.

The southern province believe they take a proactive approach in being prepared for possible concussions, and use the myplayXplay system during games as part of their real-time concussion surveillance strategy.

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Munster pay for myplayXplay themselves in order to ensure greater player welfare, with the system allowing their medical team to instantly review video footage of any heavy collisions, even in stadiums which do not provide sideline replays to the teams.

The scrum-half starts in today’s Pool 1 Champions Cup clash against Racing 92 at Thomond Park.

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Murray Kinsella

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