Jamie Roberts: Wales players trust team medical staff

Jamie Roberts and George North
Jamie Roberts (left) and George North in training.

Wales centre and qualified doctor Jamie Roberts says the team trust Welsh Rugby Union medical staff after wing George North played on against England following two blows to the head.

The second clash appeared to knock out North and World Rugby accepts none of Wales' medical staff saw what happened.

"It's unfortunate they didn't see it happen but all the protocols have been followed," Roberts said.

"The players all trust the medical staff."

North received treatment after being accidentally kicked in the head during the first half of the 21-16 defeat, but returned to the field following an eight-minute break after passing medical tests.

But a 61st-minute clash of heads with team-mate Richard Hibbard went unnoticed, although television replays appeared to show North being knocked unconscious.

"A lot has been made of it, and rightly so," added Roberts

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Wales wing George North could be in line to face Scotland on Sunday.

"Concussion is a huge part of the game at the moment, and hopefully moving forward, the protocols that we put in place - from our side, there will be video replays now for the medical staff at home and away matches - are going to make the game safer for the players involved.

"A lot has been made of this incident, but I think the medical team dealt with it fantastically well and did everything in their power and did everything they should have done."

The sport's governing body will look at implementing video replays for team medical staff at elite tournaments after noting none had been available at the Millennium Stadium for the opening match of the 2015 Six Nations.

And Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde confirmed laptop computers will be available to the Wales team medics during matches from now on so they can watch replays of potential injuries.

He added none of the coaching team noticed North's 61st-minute clash of heads with Hibbard, so were not in a position to pass on any information to the medical team.

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Wales forwards coach Robin McBryde explains wing George North's fitness progress ahead of the Six Nations match against Scotland

"Any break in play is used to analyse the opposition," he said.

"We trust the medical team to give us feedback.

"Hopefully we can learn from the incident so it doesn't happen again."

North could still play against Scotland on Sunday, 15 February, but is still being evaluated by the Wales backroom team.

"George is completely symptom-free and he is going through the return-to-play protocol, as is [prop forward] Samson Lee," added McBryde

"It's something we need to take our time over. If we have to delay the team announcement, we will do."

Wales also hope full-back Leigh Halfpenny (neck) and fly-half Dan Biggar (cut head) will be available for selection against Scotland.

Wales are due to name their team at 11:00 GMT on Wednesday, 11 February.

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