SRU boss backs Rory Lamont’s concussion concern

Rory Lamont being treated on the pitch in 2008 before being taken to hospital. Picture: Jane Barlow
Rory Lamont being treated on the pitch in 2008 before being taken to hospital. Picture: Jane Barlow
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SRU chief executive Mark Dodson has agreed with former Scotland winger Rory Lamont that the IRB’s experimental five-minute concussion test is “inadequate”.

Dodson admitted that he was “surprised and disappointed” by Lamont’s interview in Saturday’s Scotsman around the player’s concern at being encouraged to play for Scotland while carrying injury. But he agreed the SRU had its own concerns over the new Pitch Side Concussion Assessment (PSCA) trial, brought in last year, where if a player does not show signs of concussion he can be assessed inside the stadium for five minutes and returned to play if concussion is not suspected.

This has been proven to be flawed on several occasions, with Australia flanker George Smith the most obvious recent example. Despite being unable to walk off unaided, he was given the PSCA test and swiftly returned to play when he passed.

Dodson said: “I was surprised and disappointed to read Rory’s comments in The Scotsman as concerns the injuries that he played with. I can’t shed any light on the incidents he spoke of because they were before my time, but we know that James Robson [SRU head of medicine] is respected the world over for his medical care and if the SRU has got anything right over the last 20 years then it has been the standards of medicine in the game here.

“But I understand where he is coming from with the concussion issue. We have made our position clear in our discussions with the IRB. We believe that the doctor should have the final say and although we’re prepared to wait for all the results and evidence provided by this trial, I do have to say that it [the PSCA test] seems inadequate to me.”

Dr Robson is on holiday and unavailable for comment but, a world leader on the effects of rugby concussion, he is known to have raised his concerns about the PSCA with the IRB.