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Concussion: A matter of heart and head

Rugby is in the spotlight. Debate over the concussions that occurred during the Six
Nations and at the end of the Premiership season is heightened now that the world's audience is focused on the Rugby World Cup.

20 October 2015

To add to the pressure, Panorama provided an overview presented by John Beattie (a former Scotland and British Lions player) in which World Rugby's senior medical officer suggested the possibility of changing some of the rules.

Rugby has always been broadly acknowledged as a hard game for fit individuals, individuals who have an immense respect for the rules of the game and those who officiate, instilling a sense of camaraderie that lasts forever. Rugby takes discipline and the protection of its players seriously - the changes in respect of tip tackles and methodical engagement of scrums are two examples. Those changes do not lessen the contest.

Concussion, though, is present in many contact sports. Critics of rugby highlight the dramatic increase in notifications over the last two years. However, the increased awareness in the introduction and use of the head injury assessment (HIA) testing has also raised i...

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