International Rugby
IRB put forward player welfare recommendations
November 14, 2009
Bernard Lapasset, head of the French rugby union federation, holds a press conference prior to the rugby union World Cup third place final match France vs. Argentina at the Parc des Princes in Paris on October 19,  2007
IRB chief Bernard Lapasset was pleased with their inaugural medical conference © Getty Images

The inaugural IRB medical conference has responded to fears that physicality in rugby was becoming out of control by producing a series of recommendations for the improvement of player welfare.

During the two-day conference at Twickenham delegates considered issues pertaining to a central theme of "putting players first" after several months of high-profile injuries following the British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa and the 'Bloodgate' scandal at Harlequins.

Key findings from the conference included a cross-union approach to collating information about the frequency and severity of injuries, new recommendations for the management of concussion and increased focus on imposing the laws of the game at the tackle area.

In terms of concussion it was the belief of the panel that any player diagnosed would not be allowed to return to the field.

"The welfare of players at all levels of the game is of paramount importance and the medical conference provided a unique forum for union medical officers and invited independent experts to discuss a range of key issues, exchange views and form recommendations to help the IRB further develop its medical strategic plan to ensure the continued dissemination of best possible practice for playing, coaching and officiating the game," said IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset.

"The quality of the discussions over the two days, and the positive response to the information presented by medical experts, clearly highlights the collective determination to ensure that player welfare is the primary concern for administrators throughout the game."

Click Here for the conference's full recommendations.


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