France cleared by Review Panel over Antoine Dupont HIA

FFR will face no disciplinary action after controversial end to Ireland’s win in Paris

France’s Antoine Dupont is led off the field towards the end of Ireland’s narrow Six Nations win. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP

France’s Antoine Dupont is led off the field towards the end of Ireland’s narrow Six Nations win. Photograph: Christophe Simon/AFP

 

A HIA Review Panel has called the decision to send France’s Antoine Dupont for a HIA towards the end of Ireland’s Six Nations victory in Paris, “understandable.”

It has also said there was, “no evidence of anyone within the FFR seeking to gain a competitive advantage,” during a tense endgame in the French capital - with France facing no discplinary action for the incident.

Joe Schmidt’s side won a narrow contest 15-13 thanks to a last-minute dropgoal from Johnny Sexton.

In a particularly fraught ending to the fixture at the Stade de France, replacement scrumhalf Dupont - a second half substitute - left the pitch for a HIA.

This came despite the 21-year-old having received no obvious blow to the head, leading to speculation France had allegedly maniuplated HIA protocols in order to allow Maxime Machenaud to return to the field of play in the 76th minute.

However, in a statement released on Wednesday night, the HIA Review Panel confirmed the decision to send Dupont off was made by the match day doctor, supported by the video doctor.

It also says the decision was made on the back of an indication from the match officials’ that a HIA was required.

The statement reads: “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.”

The HIA also confirmed there was nothing untoward with the first-half removal of outhalf Matthieu Jalibert for a HIA. The 19-year-old outhalf didn’t return to the field of play due to a knee injury.

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