Concussion standdown period to a total of 11 days upon change of protocol

Australian rugby union will seek to lower the legal tackle height in community matches from below the shoulders to below the breastbone.

When asked whether the NRL would mandate a change in tackle techniques or mandate a greater reward for leg tackles, Abdo said, “We’ve debated that and the commission is very focused on the data and what it’s telling us.

“We’re constantly looking at the data and seeing how it might be possible to adjust the rules to minimize technique-related injuries wherever possible. But it has to be stress tested and final and that is part of the overall framework.”

The mandatory stand-down period applies to players diagnosed with a Category 1 concussion, which includes loss of consciousness, ataxia, or lack of self-defense when falling.

Most segments of Wednesday’s game included the announcement, meaning players risk missing out on high-profile games like State of Origin and Finals.

The NRL will allow clubs to request an exception to the 11-day deadline in exceptional circumstances if a player meets certain criteria.

This includes when Category 1 symptoms are not predominant, the player is asymptomatic the day after the concussion, the player has suffered fewer than five concussions in his career, has not had a brain injury diagnosed in the past three months, and has no history of prolonged Recovering from a previous concussion.

Concussion researcher Professor Alan Pearce said the concussion stand-down rule is a significant step for the NRL but more work needs to be done to combat the CTE threat.

“On the one hand, it’s a positive step that they now recognize the severity of a concussion as a brain injury,” he said. “I like that.

“I still don’t think they’ve gone far enough in telling people that a concussion can be mild or not that severe. The message being conveyed is that some concussions are more important than others.”

Manly manager Anthony Seibold, who worked alongside former England manager Eddie Jones in rugby union last year, has been a supporter of the mandatory rest break policy.

“I’ve experienced it before and wouldn’t have any qualms about it,” said Seibold. “It’s about keeping players safe and protecting their health, both in the short and long term.”

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys said “there is no greater priority than player safety” amid news on Wednesday of a second class action lawsuit filed by former players against the AFL.

West Tigers forward Shawn Blore, who is set to return from a concussion sustained in the opening round this week, welcomed the mandatory rest period.


Parramatta’s Mitchell Moses and Penrith’s Spencer Leniu both played in finals matches a week after suffering a brain injury last year. They were evaluated by an independent concussion specialist in the days following their concussion.

“Sometimes we are our worst enemies,” Blore said. “You get hurt out there and you want to move on. I think it’s a stereotype that players need to break, probably too proud to admit we’re injured. When you’re hurt, you’re hurt and you just need to know when to stop.”

Stream the NRL Premiership 2023 live for free 9Now. Concussion standdown period to a total of 11 days upon change of protocol

Ryan Sederquist

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