TJ Ioane: Sale Sharks cleared in concussion protocol investigation

TJ Ioane
TJ Ioane joined Sale in January 2015 after playing for Super Rugby side Highlanders

Sale Sharks have been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Concussion Management Review Group (CMRG) for an incident involving back-row forward TJ Ioane.

He fell to the floor after an attempted tackle on flanker Dave Ward in Sale's loss at Harlequins on 7 January but played on for the rest of the game.

The 27-year-old Samoan was not treated on the field but was assessed by the Sale team doctor after the tackle.

The report concluded it "was matter of clinical judgement by the team doctor".

"The team doctor's decision was based on his view of the injury mechanism in both real-time and following video review, and his direct assessment of the player's immediate and subsequent response to the injury event," it said.

"The team doctor was in the immediate vicinity of the player, reviewed the real-time video footage and was best placed to make that decision.

"In continuing to monitor, reassess and question the player, both during and after the match, the team doctor was continuing his responsibility to evaluate the player's condition for any signs of a suspected head injury or concussion; none was apparent."

The CMRG panel was chaired by Dr Julian Morris and includes the Rugby Football Union's director of professional rugby Nigel Melville and Premiership rugby director Phil Winstanley.

What are the rules?

  • With suspected concussion, club doctors have 13 minutes to decide if a player can return to the field.
  • All Premiership grounds and Twickenham have medical teams with access to replays to help that decision.
  • Any player with confirmed or suspected concussion will be permanently removed.

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