World Rugby make swift law change to fix issue

World Rugby have changed the process around head injury assessments at halftime to avoid another incident like the one in which Sam Cane was denied the right to play the second half against the Springboks.

During the All Blacks’ Rugby World Cup opener at Yokohama, Cane was told to undergo an HIA at half time by the independent match doctor after taking a knock in the first half.

Cane passed the test but could not then return to the field, as half time lasted for 15 minutes, five more than the maximum time any player is allocated to undergo testing.

“We’ve had a notification that they’re going to modify the time-keeping so instead of it happening when they say there’s going to be a test the clock doesn’t start until you get to the actual room itself,” Steve Hansen said.

“Last night was an exception to the rule. Normally an HIA will happen during the course of the game and they’ll take the player off and normally that’s when it starts.

“Last night Sam was back in our changing shed and they decided they were going to do one so he then had to go to the other side of the stadium basically and then do the test so it wasn’t any fault of his. It was the actual test that took longer than it should’ve.

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“It wasn’t anything we could control so I think they’ve now worked out that’s not common sense is it?

“We’re here to look after the athlete so they’ve modified it which is great, good response. They’ve shown good leadership and changed it.

“I’m glad they’ve sorted it out. I wasn’t overly happy about it last night, one of your best players missing 40 minutes of the game but it is what it is. They’ve acknowledged they haven’t got that part of it right and they’ve changed it so you can’t ask for more.”

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