After last nights diabolical performance in Cardiff, heads should roll at the Welsh Rugby Union as this kind of laissez-faire attitude cannot be allowed to continue.
No, I’m not talking about Wales’ disappointing second half performance in Cardiff, instead I am talking about the shocking disregard that was shown to George North during the game when not once, but twice he took knocks to the head, yet wasn’t removed from the field.
After taking a boot to the head from Dave Attwood, North was then knocked-out cold during a challenge, yet was allowed to continue on the field. Even if the player was determined to stay on the pitch, one of the coaches or doctors should have insisted in removing him from the fray, at the very least for a concussion assessment.
North is a 22 year old lad desperate to impress for his country after a disappointing year so is going to do everything he can to remain on the field. The responsibility therefore falls on the shoulders of the coaching staff who should have recognised he should have been removed after the first incident.
It’s hardly like Wales didn’t have a decent replacement on the bench with Liam Williams available which makes this blatant disregard for player welfare even more astounding. Given the amount of press concussion is receiving in the press right now it is even more ridiculous someone did not recognise this could be a potential issue.
It has now been confirmed that North could end up missing the next Six Nations game as a result of the post-match concussion protocol, which makes it even more amazing that nobody thought at the time it could be an issue.
We have seen in the NFL recently the huge law suit being brought against the league by ex-players suffering from a myriad of issues related to concussion, it therefore seems only a matter of time before similar issues begin to creep into rugby.
I’m not normally one for demanding drastic action, however given the appalling way in which North was treated on Friday night somebody needs a royal rollocking, if not more for the failure to act. It could be that North sees no immediate issues from the knocks over the next few weeks, however it’s hard to gauge what the longer-term effects may be, especially after taking the second knock.
Do you think more should be done to protect players in these situations?