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English rugby takes a crash course on concussion

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Every single player, coach and referee in elite English rugby has completed an online training course to recognise and deal with concussion.

The 100 per cent turnout from the 1,600+ professionals represents the second year in a row that everyone involved at the elite level of the game has completed the mandatory module within a required five-week window.

All players competing in Premiership and Championship Rugby, as well as England Sevens, women England representatives aged 18 and over, as well as all the coaches and officials connected with the teams and competitions, took part.

“Player welfare is Premiership Rugby’s number one priority and changing rugby culture through education and raised awareness about concussion is paramount,” said head of rugby operations at Premiership Rugby Corin Palmer.

The joint initiative between Premiership Rugby, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Rugby Players’ Association (RPA) launched in October 2014 to explain what concussion is, how to recognise its symptoms on and off the field and how it feels when a player has experienced concussion.

The sport has seen a series of high-profile concussions in recent times. England’s Mike Brown had to be assessed by head injury specialists after being concussed during a Six Nations clash with Wales last year, while Newport Gwent Dragons centre Ashley Smith decided to retire at 28 after enduring a series of concussions.

“Educating players, referees and non-medical staff about concussion is critically important and it is satisfying to see for the second season running that everyone required to complete the online module has done so,” added RFU chief medical officer Simon Kemp. “This emphasises how seriously the professional game in England takes the issue.”

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Every single player, coach and referee in elite English rugby has completed an online training course to recognise and deal with concussion.
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Mike Brown suffered concussion during a Six Nations match against Wales last year
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