The England medical team has come under fire for the second time in a few days after they failed to withdraw Jack Nowell following a head injury.
Failing to give the independent Doctors enough time to investigate the knock, referee Damon Murphy and the England medical team initially allowed the Exeter Chiefs man to carry on.
The 28-year-old did eventually leave the field a few minutes later and subsequently didn’t return after failing his HIA.
This led to some fury on social media regarding player welfare.
Friday nights U20s Six Nations game between England and Italy also ended in controversy, with England’s team doctors coming under fire for their response to a potential concussion.
With England losing in the dying moments of the game, wing Deago Bailey leapt for the ball and landed awkwardly, with his head hitting the pitch at speed. The response of the England doctors to the incident was poor, as they attempted to argue that he did not need a HIA.
Incredibly, the team doctors initially refused the request and again asserted that Bailey was fit to continue for the final three minutes of the game. Upon being told that the instruction for a HIA had come from an independent match doctor, one of the England medical team responded, “I am a doctor though.”
It must be said that referee Aurelie Groizeleau deserves enormous credit for just taking the appropriate action under the unreasonable pressure from the English medical team.
Thompson wrote: “Sam this thread is so well done. Thank you. We just want players to be looked after by those who’s job it is to do so. The ref was brilliant in this situation.”
The 2003 World Cup-winner has pledged to donate his brain as part of a new initiative backed by the Jeff Astle Foundation.
Thompson—who cannot remember playing in the final final win over Australia —revealed last year that he had been diagnosed with early onset dementia at the age of 42.
He is part of a group of players currently suing the Rugby Football Union for negligence following a career that came part and parcel with frequent head injuries at games and in training.
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LIST: Fans rank the 5 best rugby referees in the world
5. Angus Gardner (Australia)
As a teenager, he was a keen rugby player until he was diagnosed with Scheuermann’s Disease [a hereditary disc condition].
Gardner refereed his first international match in 2011, taking charge of Papua New Guinea vs Vanuatu. A year later he refereed his first Super Rugby fixture, Queensland Reds vs Melbourne Rebels.
In 2018, he refereed the Super Rugby final, and the same year he went on to win World Rugby’s Referee of the Year award.