Aus­tralia to trial blue cards for con­cus­sion

New Straits Times - - Sport -

SYD­NEY: Blue cards are set to be is­sued to play­ers suf­fer­ing from signs of con­cus­sion, the Aus­tralian Rugby Union said yes­ter­day in a bid to im­prove safety dur­ing matches.

The sys­tem, to be tri­alled in the ARU’s Aus­tralian Cap­i­tal Ter­ri­tory and New­cas­tle com­pe­ti­tions in com­ing weeks, will re­quire those show­ing signs of con­cus­sion to leave the field for the rest of the game if they are given a blue card.

They would be barred from re­turn­ing un­til they com­plete a min­i­mum stand-down pe­riod, which will be 12 days for adults and 19 for Un­der-18s, take part in an ex­er­cise pro­gramme and are given the all-clear from a doc­tor.

“The blue card trial is just one of the ARU’s many ini­tia­tives to im­prove player wel­fare and safety in our game,” ARU’s chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer War­ren McDon­ald said in a state­ment.

“(It) fol­lows over two years of ex­ten­sive re­search on con­cus­sion and con­cus­sion man­age­ment from World Rugby down through each na­tion.”

The an­nounce­ment fol­lows re­newed fo­cus on con­cus­sion in the sport af­ter Wal­laby fly-half Bernard Fo­ley was side­lined by an head knock dur­ing a trial match in Fe­bru­ary that saw him miss the first four rounds of the Su­per rugby sea­son.

The NSW Waratahs star is due to re­turn against the Mel­bourne Rebels today.

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