HIA ‘discrepancies’ saw White play on in Dublin

7:57 PM GMT

Australia scrum half Nic White was allowed to continue playing after a head injury during his rugby team’s recent defeat by Ireland due to “discrepancies” in process and communication, an independent review by the organisers said on Tuesday.

White was injured during the second half of Australia’s 13-10 Autumn Nations Series loss on Nov. 19 and looked unsteady as he left the pitch for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA).

Repeated concussions and head injuries in contact sports such as rugby have been linked to the early onset of dementia and other long-term health issues.

Six Nations Rugby initiated an independent review of the incident, which found that both the independent match day doctor and team doctor were in the process of reviewing White’s head injury and missed his stumbles, which are signs that require a player’s immediate removal from the game.

White passed his initial assessment and played the rest of the match, prompting criticism from lobby group Progressive Rugby. His injury was later upgraded, leading to a mandatory 12-day stand-down period.

“The second incident was not communicated to either doctor and therefore, in performing White’s HIA did not review any additional footage,” the independent review said.

“Having been made aware of the second incident after the game, both doctors reviewed the footage and declared a Criteria 1 diagnosis,” it added.

The review added that discrepancies around process and communication rather than interpretation of player signs had affected the HIA process.

Global governing body World Rugby said it was committed to the highest-possible standards of care.

“Additionally, World Rugby and global rugby stakeholders continue to invest in science and research to further strengthen the HIA process, including objective initiatives such as eye-tracking, saliva and smart mouthguard advances,” it added.

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