Most of you have probably seen George North’s collision a few weeks back which lead to him eating dirt and being concussed, if you did then you will know about the ‘farce’ of a decision by Northampton’s medical staff to allow North to return to the field of play. Saints staff have understandably gone under fire for putting George back onto the field, as they will have understood the danger in the decision.
North, who suffered his 5th concussion of his career, has had some wise words given to him following the incident by former World Rugby medical advisor Barry O’Driscoll, who said that he should quit the game whilst he is ahead, as if he carries on as he is it could lead to serious and permanent head damage, which in the bigger picture is definitely not worth it!
Although, he has chosen not to go with probably the best person to ask’s advise, but has decided to instead continue on his Rugby path. You have to admire his tenacity and love for the sport, but is he just being stupid? If I was him I’d take my health and run, I mean, it’s not just the head injuries but other as well, just take his hamstring just last year…
The Welsh winger has commented on saying no thanks to the pro’s advise and has recently said to the Daily Mail that his idol is Wales legend Gethin Jenkins and this has influenced him to stay in the game as; “Gethin’s body is in tatters” and “…if I could have that level of professionalism towards the end of my career and still want to get out of bed in the morning and go again then that would be pretty amazing.” This only goes to support his determination to make an big boom for both club and country, but is Rugby everything? Especially when head damage comes into the picture…
Although he has brushed off the advise, he has not thrown a cover over what Barry said, as he has been thinking long and hard about his long selection of injuries and is hopefully not going to be stupid with his health and begin to think about winding down at a suitable time. It is not just big hits and dodgy landings which are taking their toll on the speedster, as he stated that last year he in fact played 13 and 1/2 consecutive months prior to his hamstring giving in, that’s a long time, especially with such demanding training!
With all of this happening, is it telling him to slow down? Either way, it’s showing the ones that see Rugby as more than a sport that North is a model player. Not only is he quality in terms of play, but he is not going to quit, and that is definitely what you want on your side and on your TV for the kids to see!
Apart from this incident putting a temporary question mark over his career, it has also sparked up some old controversy. Jamie Cudmore if you did not know is a Canadian player, who is currently in the process of suing his former club Clermont after they sent him back onto the pitch after not even passing the mandatory head medical checks that are undertaken in cases of concussion. Personally, I see it as disgusting that a club would put their side’s performance over a player’s safety, so they deserve to be taken to court.
Yet again, looking at the bigger picture, if Cudmore can take legal action because of what happened, why are we seeing what is pretty much nothing at all being done, when at the end of the day, it is one of the most serious matters, with players’ lives being in jeopardy… Something needs to be changed!