NZ Rugby review rules Jeremy Loughman returned after concussion protocols error

The 26-year-old Ireland prop was filmed falling backwards as he attempted to return to his feet following a collision.

Ireland prop Jeremy Loughman should not have been allowed to return to the field after suffering concussion symptoms against the Maori All Blacks, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has concluded.

A review into the incident found the correct protocols were not followed due to a communication error.

Munster loosehead Loughman was filmed falling backwards as he attempted to return to his feet following a collision in the second minute of Wednesday’s 32-17 defeat in Hamilton.

The 26-year-old was temporarily replaced by Cian Healy but, having undergone a head injury assessment (HIA), came back on before being permanently withdrawn at half-time.

NZR medical manager Karen Rassmussen said in a statement: “As a result of this review, NZR believes Ireland prop Jeremy Loughman should not have been allowed back on to the field during the first half.

“While NZR stands by the HIA processes in place and is satisfied that player welfare is the number one priority for medical staff at the match, we have identified a gap in communications, which meant critical video evidence was not fully accounted for as part of the Head Injury Assessment process undertaken by the independent match day medical team.”

Loughman, who is yet to win a Test cap for Ireland, will not be involved in Saturday’s series opener against New Zealand in Auckland.

After the midweek warm-up match against the Maoris, head coach Andy Farrell said the player was taken off “as a precaution”.

Cian Healy, pictured, twice replaced Jeremy Loughman (Brian Lawless/PA)

Progressive Rugby, a player welfare lobby group, said it was “deeply alarming” that Loughman was permitted to return.

New Zealand Rugby has vowed to ensure head injury protocols are adhered to for the rest of Ireland’s tour.

“We will be reinforcing the full HIA process and protocols for the remainder of the Steinlager Series to ensure video evidence is communicated more accurately between independent match day medical staff to enable them to make the right call with regards to player safety,” continued the statement.

Healy, who twice replaced Loughman, was later forced off by a leg injury, which was initially feared to be serious.

However, the 34-year-old Leinster player has been named on Farrell’s bench for this weekend’s Test opener at a sold-out Eden Park.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in