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France’s HIA Controversy Escalates As Six Nations Release Second Statement

After an initial review by an independent Head Injury Assessment Review Processor, Six Nations Rugby have officially announced that two incidents have been referred to the HIA Review Panel.

Some huge controversy arose during Ireland’s clash with France on Saturday as two French players were removed from the field of play for head injury assessments in highly questionable circumstances.

Flyhalf Matthieu Jalibert suffered a knee injury in a collision with Bundee Aki in the first half. However, a Head Injury Assessment was bafflingly ordered by the assessing doctor. In the second half, an even more bemusing HIA was called for after Antoine Dupont clearly suffered a knee injury which was later confirmed to be a season-ending cruciate ligament tear.

Following the controversial HIA orders, countless pundits have demanded that some answers be provided after French head coach Jacques Brunel firmly stated that the rulings were made by an independent doctor and essentially had nothing to do with his staff.

“They were collisions, but the head injury protocol was decided by the independent doctor. It wasn’t our decision.”

However, it now looks as if some heads may indeed roll after an official statement by Six Nations Rugby confirmed that their review has now entered its second phase.

Check out the statement in full below.

“Following the NatWest 6 Nations match between France and Ireland on Saturday, the independent Head Injury Assessment (HIA) Review Processor appointed by Six Nations, Alligin (UK) Limited, carried out its review of various incidents from the match.

“That initial review has now been concluded and, in light of the views expressed by the Review Processor, Six Nations Rugby has referred two such incidents to the HIA Review Panel, ie the second stage of World Rugby’s HIA review process.

“The HIA Review Panel, which is chaired by Roger Morris (Wales), will consider the incidents and report to Six Nations. It can make recommendations (among other things) as to further education and training that is required, and/or whether disciplinary action should be taken by Six Nations.

“It is anticipated that, due to the need to consider various materials and contact a number of individuals, the HIA Review Panel is unlikely to finalise its report for a number of days. No further comments will be made until the conclusion of the review process.”

The review is now likely to conclude by the end of the week with the panel entitled to recommend further education and training or even hand down disciplinary measures should they conclude that some untoward behaviour occurred.

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team.