Six Nations board to decide on IRB concussion protocols next month
Scotland believed to be lone dissenting voice on adopting proposals
Action from last season’s Six Nations match between Ireland and England. A meeting of the Six Nations board on January 21st is set to decide on the adoption of the IRB concussion protocols. Photograph: Getty Images
The International Rugby Board (IRB) protocols regarding the pitch-side assessment of concussion (PSCA) and its introduction for the first time in to next year’s Six Nations Championship is expected to be decided at a January 21st Six Nations board meeting
Material has been sent to each of the competing nations regarding the protocols, which have come under criticism as some experts believe the five-minute window is not enough to be certain players will not be sent back into play suffering from the injury.
It is believed five of the six unions are ready to accept the protocols with Scotland a lone dissenting voice in the matter.
Once the Six Nations receive information back from member unions, permission will then be required from the IRB to instigate the measures.
The Six Nations begins in February 1st, when Wales face Italy, with Ireland opening their championship the following day against Scotland. According to the Irish Rugby Union Players Association (IRUPA) those who take part in next year’s Six Nations Championship will have signed consent forms to allow them to be part of the IRB trial.
The Six Nations have yet to decide what to do in the event of disagreement or non-consent to take part in the trial. If Scotland, hold out and the IRFU believe they will not, it has not been decided if they can participate.
The protocols will only apply to the senior championship, which means the Women’s Six Nations, in which Ireland won the Grand Slam this year and the Under 20 event, will not be involved.