Home Rugby Review Panel Have Finally Ruled On France’s HIA Controversy Vs Ireland

Review Panel Have Finally Ruled On France’s HIA Controversy Vs Ireland

Six Nations’ HIA review panel has released a statement after two controversial moments during Ireland’s clash with France in the opening round of fixtures.

Some huge controversy arose during Ireland’s Six Nations clash with France 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.

After a significant amount of criticism from fans and pundits around Europe, an initial review by an independent Head Injury Assessment Review Processor was called for before Six Nations Rugby officially announced that two incidents had been referred to the HIA Review Panel for examination.

On Wednesday evening, the Review Panel finally released a statement explaining their conclusions, essentially exonerating the French camp of any wrongdoing.

Check out the official statement in full below;

The HIA Review Panel has now concluded its review and reported its conclusions to Six Nations Rugby.

In respect of the incident involving Mr Jalibert, the HIA Review Panel concluded (in summary) that:

• the player had not suffered a concussion during the relevant incident and therefore could (if not for an injury that he had sustained to his knee) have returned to the pitch after the HIA;

• the decision to call for an HIA was not made by anyone who was formally connected with the French team, rather it was made by the match day doctor, supported by the video doctor, and was based on the player having been on the ground (motionless) for a period of time; and

• while there was some debate about whether or not it had been appropriate for the match day doctor to call for an HIA in the circumstances, there was no evidence of anyone within the FFR seeking to gain a competitive advantage.

In respect of the incident involving Mr Dupont, the HIA Review Panel concluded (in summary) that:

• the player had not suffered a concussion during the relevant incident and therefore could (if not for an injury that he had sustained to his knee and the match having come to an end) have returned to the pitch after the HIA;

• the decision to call for an HIA was not made by anyone who was formally connected with the French team, rather it was made by the match day doctor, supported by the video doctor, and was based on the match officials’ earlier indication that an HIA was required;

• although the match day doctor and the video doctor should not have simply accepted the match officials’ indication that an HIA was required, it was understandable that they called for an HIA in those circumstances; and

• again, there was no evidence of anyone within the FFR seeking to gain a competitive advantage.

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