All Blacks Concussion Management
The All Blacks continue to set the highest standards in all aspects of their work and culture and that absolutely includes the way they manage players who have been concussed or who have head knocks.
They have a zero risk policy which throughout the year they stuck to without any hint of being willing to make exceptions.
What that meant in practice is that any player, even if they had not failed a Head Injury Assessment, would be pulled from selection if the team doctor suspected they had any lingering concussion-like symptoms.
They never once looked to rush anyone back into the team and throughout the year we saw the likes of Waisake Naholo, Beauden Barrett, Sam Cane, Ryan Crotty and Israel Dagg all miss tests that they could actually have played but for the All Blacks’ ultra cautious policy.
As All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says – and he is unrepentant about this – life is way more important than rugby.