Rugby’s card-happy approach to concussion is just not working | Michael Aylwin


As injuries keep rising, it is obvious that simply penalising players is no remedy. The answer lies in neuroscience

Another year, another set of concussion statistics as high as the last. Higher. This year’s, revealed on Tuesday in English rugby’s perennially comprehensive Professional Rugby Injury Surveillance Project report, is actually the highest recorded since PRISP began in 2002.

Surely at some point the penny will drop that the red-card wild-west rugby embarked upon officially on 3 January 2017, five and a half years ago, but unofficially before even that, is not working – and it never will work. To send players off and ban them for the ugliest (though far from the only) examples of contact with the head is meant to act as a deterrent, but deterrents in the wider world work only when the infringements targeted are the result of deliberate decision-making by the perpetrators in their own good time.

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Written by Michael Aylwin
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