Non-profit lobby group Progressive Rugby have expressed concerns over Jeremy Loughman’s return to the pitch during Ireland’s loss to the Māori All Blacks.
Ireland prop Loughman was removed from play less than two minutes into the game after he suffered a head injury, and was removed from the field of play for a HIA (head injury assessment).
Loughman attempted to get back to his feet after the collision but fell backwards when doing so, which prompted the HIA, although he came back on 10 minutes later.
However, according to World Rugby’s HIA protocol, players who display obvious signs of concussion must be immediately and permanently removed.
Jeremy Loughman HIA criticised.
A similar incident occurred with Wales prop Tomas Francis during the Six Nations in which he was reintroduced to the field of play after displaying obvious signs of concussion, with the Six Nations HIA Review Panel later stating that a mistake was made in allowing him to come back on.
Progressive Rugby took to Twitter to comment on the incident with Loughman and compared it to the Francis case.
“21st June: WR announce ‘Gold Standard’ concussion protocol 29th June: One minute in Irish prop Jeremy Loughman leaves pitch with clear Cat 1 symptoms so must be permanently removed with no HIA,” Progressive Rugby tweeted.
“Has HIA and returns. A repeat of the Tomas Francis affair. Shameful and needs answers.”
21st June: WR announce ‘Gold Standard’ concussion protocol
29th June: ONE minute in Irish prop Jeremy Loughman leaves pitch with clear Cat 1 symptoms so must be permanently removed with no HIA.
Has HIA & returns
A repeat of the Tomas Francis affair
Shameful and needs answers. https://t.co/NFFMM0tWvB
— Progressive Rugby (@ProgressiveRug) June 29, 2022
Ireland are short of props for Saturday’s test against the All Blacks.
Loughman played the remainder of the first half after coming back on, although he was replaced by Cian Healy very early into the second half.
Healy then suffered what looked to be a serious injury late on, with Finlay Bealham replacing him in the 69th minute at loosehead, despite primarily playing as a tighthead prop.
While Bealham is able to play as a loosehead and as a tighthead, Ireland could be left with just one specialist loosehead prop in their squad for Saturday’s game against the All Blacks, with Loughman surely also in doubt.