Fed-up Aussie side seeks answers from World Rugby over concussions
SPOTLIGHT: The Queensland Reds will seek answers in a meeting with World Rugby, fed up by a lack of action following numerous incidents that left their players concussed or injured.
James O’Connor will miss Friday’s crunch clash with the Blues due to a concussion suffered in the final minutes of his side’s historic defeat of the Chiefs last week.
Bursting back into form wearing the No.12 jersey, the former Test star was contacted high in a ruck and left with a burning sensation down his shoulder, among other concussion symptoms.
With O’Connor set to miss at least this week’s game, the Reds referred the incident to Super Rugby Pacific’s governing body SANZAAR.
It was the fourth time the franchise had done so this season and the fourth time no further action has been taken.
That’s despite the code’s hard-line stance on high contact as rugby actively seeks to reduce the instances of concussion.
Tom Lynagh missed three games with concussion, injured when he was collected from behind after Queensland had conceded a try against Fijian Drua.
That break stunted the rookie’s promising start in the No.10 and cost him any chance of featuring in Eddie Jones’ first Wallabies training squad.
Filipo Daugunu was also hit high in that game by a tackle that went unpunished, while teammate Sef Fa’agase copped a retrospective suspension for his own high shot.
The Reds referred another incident following their loss to the Waratahs that left Harry Wilson bloodied, but again SANZAAR took no action.
Reds football boss Sam Cordingley said he was reluctant, but felt compelled to when players were injured.
Already frustrated following the Lynagh incident, Cordingley was relieved to have caught Word Rugby’s attention.
“We have referred a number of head contact incidents this season that have resulted in concussion or injury to our players,” he told AAP.
“Whilst these have gone unsanctioned we have now been afforded an opportunity to seek clarification from World Rugby on these incidents.”
The Reds are seventh, three points behind the Waratahs and six ahead of the Drua, who they’ll play in Fiji in the final round.