Caelan Doris has urged his fellow rugby players not to ignore any lingering concussion symptoms, having previously taken a break from the sport for similar reasons.
Rising Leinster and Ireland star Doris took a break from rugby last year due to worrying concussion symptoms and missed the entire 2021 Six Nations as a result.
Thankfully, those concussion symptoms have subsided, and Doris has burst back onto the international rugby scene, having been named as the player of the series for the Autumn Nations Series.
Doris was speaking on the Rugby Pod about his decision to temporarily step away from rugby and admitted that while it was a difficult call to make, he is certain that it was the correct one.
Caelan Doris on temporarily stepping away from rugby.
“It was tough. At the start, I was able to compartmentalise, I was enjoying the rugby and I was playing quite well and on a bit of an upward trajectory,” Doris explained.
“I was able to hide it and say I will be able to deal with it later if they keep going on or push it to the side. What I can say now, and what I can say with the benefit of hindsight, is if there is anyone going through something similar just get it checked at the very start.
“The likelihood is you are going to be fine, maybe take a little break and you will be absolutely grand.
“The opposite of letting it build up and build up potentially you could do some damage and there might be bigger repercussions. So get it checked while it is a smaller issue.”
Class to chat with @caelan_doris on the pod this week after Leinster’s dominant 89-7 win over Montpellier on Sunday, and discuss his incredible form and recovery from concussion ?
— The Rugby Pod (@TheRugbyPod) January 18, 2022
The Mayo man has nailed down a starting place in Ireland’s back row.
Deciding to step away from rugby before the 2021 Six Nations and seek medical advice about his concussion symptoms did have the potential to derail his career, as he had only won seven caps for Ireland, but it ultimately only temporarily halted his progress.
Doris was named as the man of the match in Ireland’s win against the All Blacks in November, arguably the highest honour a player can achieve in any one match, and he has maintained his impressive form since then.
The 2022 Six Nations will be Doris’ second experience of Europe’s top-flight international rugby tournament and will be one where Ireland will be expected to hit the ground running, after an excellent Autumn Nations Series.