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Friday 3 February 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Concussion
Wales cleared of wrongdoing after George North head injury controversy
However, World Rugby says the wing should have been removed from the field of play.

WORLD RUGBY HAS stated its belief that George North should not have remained on the field of play following a head impact in the second half of Wales’ defeat to England in the Six Nations on Friday night.

George North falls to the ground injured following a collision with Mike Brown James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

George North falls to the ground injured following a collision with Mike Brown James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

George North falls to the ground injured following a collision with Mike Brown James Crombie / INPHO James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

The unsurprising judgement comes after rugby’s governing body conducted a full post-incident review on the outrage-provoking proceedings at the Millenium Stadium.

However, World Rugby had also cleared Wales of any deliberate wrongdoing after North appeared to lose consciousness in the 61st minute of play in Cardiff having sustained a blow to the head in contact.

The organisation also expressed its satisfaction that Wales’ medical and coaching staff had taken the correct actions when North had been removed in the first half of the clash with England for a concussion test.

“Following thorough discussions and input from the independent expert Concussion Advisory Group, World Rugby accepts the WRU’s explanation that neither the team medical staff nor the independent doctor had sight of the incident and understands that the medics acted within the framework of information they had at the time and would have taken a different course of action had they had direct pitch-side visibility or access to the same broadcast footage seen by those watching on television,” reads a World Rugby statement.

The impact was the second sustained by the player in the match, following a first half temporary removal for a head injury assessment. Having reviewed the incident report, World Rugby can confirm that the WRU followed correct protocols when assessing North following this first incident.

“The WRU has outlined that the player continues to undergo close medical supervision and is undertaking supervised graduated return to play protocols.”

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George North James Crombie / INPHO North played on after the heavy head impact. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

As a result of this incident, World Rugby says it will “investigate” the possibility of television match official [TMO] technology being expanded to include the identification of head injuries during games.

World Rugby also states that all elite competitions will be requested to provide medical staff with pitch-side video for the purposes of identifying head injuries to their players.

First published at 10.35

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