Its 6 Nations time again – in my opinion the best annual Rugby tournament in the world.
England Ireland Scotland Wales France & Italy battling it our to be crowned Northern Hemisphere champions – desperate to avoid the Wooden Spoon and in this years tournament especially setting down a marker prior to the Autumn World Cup.
The 6 Nations (or 5 Nations or even 4 nations) started in 1883 with Ireland England Scotland & Wales (England won the first tournament) France joined up officially in 1910 with Italy the 6th part of the jigsaw joining in 2000.
Sell out crowds – great anthems – never being sure just who will win – makes this one of the best sporting spectacles of the year. (Especially when the boys in green win)
This years feast of Rugby started last Friday night in Cardiff – Wales V England the Millennium Stadium full to capacity – Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau belted out by 70000 Welsh Choristers
Great start by Wales – great fightback by England to take the victory – although the main talking point after the game was not so much the Rugby but rather what happened to Wales winger George North
George took a heavy hit to the head twice in the game – appeared to be knocked out but still carried on and played the entire game – He had a concussion assessment after the first knock but the Wales coaches and medical staff didn’t appear to see the second incident despite it being very obvious to all watching at home.
Concussion is very much the buzzword in contact sport at the minute and management protocols have been implemented in these sports.
The protocols do not seem to have been followed on Friday night – George North should not have been allowed to play on – luckily he does not appear to have suffered any further damage – but it can take several weeks for the symptoms of concussion to manifest.
As someone who coaches junior rugby (14 year olds at the minute) If any of my boys get a knock on the head they immediately get taken off the pitch and I will not let them play again that day – and if there are any signs of concussion then its a minimum of 23 days before they can return to play. Did the fact that George North is one of the best wingers in the world influence matters – or was it just missed on the night.
(Photo By Jacqui Lott)
I have had several kids over the last few months present during an eye examination with focusing issues double vision and headaches and often it can be traced back to a knock to the head during a game of rugby.
What anyone involved in any contact sport must remember is that the most important thing is the safety of the players – that has to take priority no matter what effect it may have on the result of the game.