The Otago University Study into concussion has bought no action from the Auckland Rugby Union.
New study into concussion brings no action
A recent study done into the causes of concussion and decreasing the risk of concussion has resulted in no action.
The Otago University study found that increased neck strength reduced the risk of concussion, because of the reduced whip-lash motion when in contact.
When asked about the changes that the results from the Otago University study could bring, the Auckland Rugby Physiotherapist directed Te Waha Nui to the ACC concussion guidelines.
ACC guidelines stipulate for athletes returning to activity from concussion all athletes must have medical clearance before they can return to full contact training. But during recovery can continue doing some physical exercise.
But as of right now the ACC guidelines do not take into consideration the possible prevention of concussion.
Rather the rugby unions seem to be content with their current protocols which includes the RugbySmart program and the recently introduced Blue Card program, which was introduced into club rugby and in the coming weeks will be used in secondary schools first XV rugby.
Through Blue Card Concussion Initiative, a referee can issue a player a Blue Card during a game, if the referee suspects they have concussion. Once given a Blue Card the player must leave the field and can’t return until they have completed a series of mandatory steps, including a three-week stand-down period.
Auckland Rugby Community Rugby Manager, Lewis McClintock justified why there is such a long stand down period, “we need to ensure all players don’t return to play until they are medically cleared and ready.”
Auckland Rugby said that so far, this year the referees in the Auckland club competition had administered 13 Blue Cards across club and secondary school games.
The RugbySmart program is a coaching development programme that all registered senior coaches must attend.
The Auckland Rugby Coach Development Manager, Shane King leads the RugbySmart programme he said, “the focus for RugbySmart is about ensuring all players are physically and technically prepared before they take the field. We need to keep our players fit and healthy and make sure they practice correct and safe tackle technique; both of which help to minimise injury.”
So, despite new and concrete evidence of one way to reduce concussion, the Auckland Rugby Union have made no new moves to implement any new structures surrounding preventing concussion.