Team doctors, independent match day doctors and video reviewers have participated in a joint workshop run by World Rugby, aimed at reinforcing application of the Head Injury Assessment (HIA) process in elite rugby.
World Rugby, national member unions and elite competition owners are committed to the advancement of player welfare across the game and the best-practice promotion of protocols and processes that play a major role in protecting players.
The HIA process is a proven and invaluable injury identification and prevention mechanism, protecting elite players. It has an accuracy of around 90 per cent across the 19 elite competitions in which it is operational, and World Rugby continues to proactively assess the latest science, technology and research as a means to further advance player welfare. Any system is made more effective by the people who run it, and this is an opportunity to engage with them again and ensure they are supported in delivering the HIA as effectively as possible.
World Rugby Chief Player Welfare and Rugby Services Officer Mark Harrington said: “World Rugby has always said that we will never stand still when it comes to player welfare. Working with our colleagues across the game, we are committed to helping improve the understanding and application of the Head Injury Assessment process.
“Delivered with the support of the Six Nations, the session was a successful demonstration that unions, regions and competition organisers are as one in our ambition to ensure player welfare is the game’s top priority.”
The workshop follows a similar programme run by World Rugby for international match officials following the second round of Six Nations matches. This workshop focused on how the Team of 4 can best support the identification of head injuries and removal of players.
World Rugby will continue to roll out generic calibration sessions and specific HIA education workshops ahead of the start of all competitions as standard practice.
Player welfare is also a top priority in the community game and if there are any suspected head injuries in grass roots rugby there is no HIA assessment process; players, coaches and volunteers are asked to follow the ‘Recognise and Remove protocol’.