Concussion in the Top 14

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Concussion in the Top 14

Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 27 Sep 2016, 7:53 pm

Like him or loath him, Jamie Cudmore was/is the stereotypical enforcer in the pack. Old school rugby, the dark arts, ruffling feathers, protecting his marquee players. Spending as much time in the sin bin as on the field.

http://www.punditarena.com/rugby/bbarry/jamie-cudmore-suing-clermont/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-3805841/Jamie-Cudmore-says-Clermont-Auvergne-failed-medical-duty-following-head-injury-Winning-took-precedence-health-players-line-needs-drawn.html


Suing his former employer now that he is at Oyonnaux(spelling?)

It's interesting to see a Cudmore coming forward with this. Between this and the treatment of Fritz a number of years back this pokes at the very soul of the game in France. There have been far worse tragedies in other countries and different levels. The Top14 is the largest market for professional rugby. I couldn't seeing anything fundamental happening in the game until it happens in the Top14. The quickest way to effect change is for it to impact the pockets of the clubs in France.

It would be ironic if a player like Cudmore, the enforcer, the red card machine ends up being the catalyst for true improvement in player welfare in the sport.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by kingelderfield on Tue 27 Sep 2016, 9:31 pm

I understand it was President Teddy Roosevelt who brought the then NFL to book at the beginning of the 20th century and so heralded the introduction of protective equipment, most obvious of which is the helmet.

Incredibly the use of the 'protective' helmet as apart of the NFL tackle has substantially increased the number of concussions in American football and with it all of the resultant issues that now beset that great game.

AND YET I keep thinking are we going to have to go in the same direction, but with extremely strong protocols against the use of the helmet as a offensive device in any shape or form?

Anybody who in anyway dismisses the issue of concussion in the game of rugby, especially in the professional game, deserves to be legally censured and either financially or socially incarcerated.

There are lesser embargo's that should be attempted before we are brought kicking and screaming to our own 'Teddy' moment - my own favorite is to trial and so attempt to fully understand what a reduced bench would do to the game and to the size of the players - though I fear it may already be too late and this is now the start of a flood of cases that will traverse the various legal systems where the game is played, especially here in the wealthy north.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by Artful_Dodger on Tue 27 Sep 2016, 9:57 pm

Its just a month after Cillian Willis brought similar action against Sale Sharks which was the landmark.  I expect to see a few more cases like this being brought in reasonably quick succession.  I'm surprised its taken this long to be honest.

Anyone hear the stories about Shontayne Hape?  Ulster lost a guy recently as well, a prop called Declan Fitzpatrick who apparently started having fits of rage after concussion and retired - the difference with these two cases being that the clubs did nothing wrong, or at least weren't alleged to have done anything wrong as in Cudmore and Willis's cases.  Something good could come of this if clubs start prioritising player welfare over win at all costs by putting a guy back on the field when he clearly isn't right.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by Golden on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 10:02 am

If a player fails a concussion test and is allowed to return to the field of play, as Cudmore alledges happened to him then the club should be fined massively and docked 15 points (pulled that out of the air, but should be hefty enough).

As Dodger says even when protocol is followed properly, concussion can have a devastating effect. So when the rules that are there specifically to reduce this are breached the club should be hung out to dry.

Thats not to say that the HIA and return to play protocols are perfect but at the moment its what we have.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by propdavid_london on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 10:31 am

The story of Hape was quite amazing about how players were treated in the T14.
I thought it was his testament that helped set up all the recent protocols.

Is there any news about the case with Sale? My understanding is that this was an incident before the modern system was in place.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 10:54 am

There may be historical cases but I guess the burden of proof is on the player to prove being allowed to play after failing a concussion test. That is worthy of a lawsuit and could end a few clubs.

Fortunately rugby is way ahead of the NFL in the protocol simply because of the way seasons are structured and the NFL has a squad limit. It feels like rugby is taking the issue seriously (especially in the Pro 12 nations) so will be interesting to see how it moves forward.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by propdavid_london on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 11:39 am

Hi Hazel, how is the Pro-12 taking it any more seriously than say the Aviva Prem?
I thought the protocols that were put in place were from world rugby - IRB or whatever they are called now!
Is that not the case - and is it the responsibility of the leagues, the unions or the individual clubs to safeguard the players. (or the PRL equivalent in other countries).

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 12:02 pm

It just feels like the Unions and the Union run clubs tend to leave players out injured longer. This is purely anecdotal I will accept. Bar a couple of significant cases (Brown and North in my mind) players seem to have longer off and be diagnosed more frequently in the Irish and Scots injury reports. Also watching a few Aviva games vs a lot of Pro 12 games, players seem to be assessed more frequently in Pro 12 but I may be skewed in memory. I would love the statistics if they are held somewhere.

I doubt that has much to do with differences in the players technique in the tackle though it may be a stylistic feature of how teams play (more back play brings higher speed collisions where the head is more likely to be in the wrong place? Be an interesting academic paper).

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by Golden on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 1:13 pm

Nathan White Connacht and Irish tighthead has officially retired due to concussion today. Just thought i would put it in here due to the relevant discusison.

https://twitter.com/RTErugby/status/781069991047270400

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by propdavid_london on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 1:52 pm

You may well be right Hazel - it would be interesting if there were some stats on the subject of differences between leagues.
I know that there is a partnership with Sarracens and a research organisation - most of their players have a device strapped behind their ear that is collecting live data on the collisions experienced.

I think one of the worst incidents that I saw was this - http://www.theroar.com.au/2014/05/11/concussion-farce-toulouse-wake-call-irb/
And is something that really should have been dealt with more appropriately.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 2:42 pm

Well that was clear and Noves should have been banned from rugby along with the medic and the ref for that one. It is the ones that are not so clear that are arguably more dangerous.

As for Nathan White, real shame for Connacht and Ireland. Looked like a player who would get a fair few caps and probably made Connacht comfortable with losing Ah You.

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Re: Concussion in the Top 14

Post by brennomac on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 3:33 pm

propdavid_london wrote:You may well be right Hazel - it would be interesting if there were some stats on the subject of differences between leagues.  
I know that there is a partnership with Sarracens and a research organisation - most of their players have a device strapped behind their ear that is collecting live data on the collisions experienced.  

I think one of the worst incidents that I saw was this - http://www.theroar.com.au/2014/05/11/concussion-farce-toulouse-wake-call-irb/
And is something that really should have been dealt with more appropriately.

And after that game that dinosaur Noves came out with some claptrap on the lines of "I got lots of bangs on the head when I was playing and it didn't do me any harm".

Situation seems to be however that the French have an ambivalent attitude to player safety - example the pitiful 14 week ban Ugalde got last week for possibly the worst bit of gouging I've seen in years. It's only when discipline is taken out of French rugby control that proper sanctions are imposed for foul play.

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