Six Nations Provide Update On France HIA Investigation From Ireland Game

Stage two.

France could once again be in trouble after they abused the HIA rule in their Six Nations defeat to Ireland at the Stade de France on Saturday.

Several TV replays showed France substitute scrumhalf Antoine Dupont clearly suffer a knee injury, but a French official informed referee Nigel Owens that the official match doctor said the scrumhalf was off for a Head Injury Assessment, meaning Maxime Machenaud could return to the field.

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Owens was clearly dubious and made sure to check the information several times But Machenaud was allowed to continue despite protestations from a number of Irish players, including captain at the time Johnny Sexton.

Yesterday, Six Nations released the following statement, noting an investigation will take place.

SNRL (Six Nations Rugby Limited) has in place a Head Injury Assessment Protocol that applies to the 2018 Championships, which has been approved by World Rugby.

As part of that protocol, there is a process by which HIA/concussion-related incidents are reviewed. This involves an initial review by an independent HIA Review Processor, Alligin (UK) Limited, and then in certain cases a further review by an HIA Review Panel.

The HIA Review Panel can as part of its review make recommendations (among other things) as to further education and training that is required, and/or whether disciplinary action should be taken by SNRL. This two-stage review process is required by World Rugby.

The HIA Review Processor is reviewing a number of incidents from the France v Ireland match in the senior men’s championship. Depending on their findings, SNRL will be considering the next steps in respect of those incidents.

And now today they have revealed that upon initial review, two incidents have been referred (both dubious HIA’s we assume) to the HIA Review Panel, meaning the investigation has moved to stage two of the review process.
Following the NatWest 6 Nations match between France and Ireland on Saturday, the independent Head Injury Assessment (HIA) Review Processor appointed by Six Nations, Alligin (UK) Limited, carried out its review of various incidents from the match.
That initial review has now been concluded and, in light of the views expressed by the Review Processor, Six Nations Rugby has referred two such incidents to the HIA Review Panel, ie the second stage of World Rugby’s HIA review process.
 
The HIA Review Panel, which is chaired by Roger Morris (Wales), will consider the incidents and report to Six Nations. It can make recommendations (among other things) as to further education and training that is required, and/or whether disciplinary action should be taken by Six Nations.
It is anticipated that, due to the need to consider various materials and contact a number of individuals, the HIA Review Panel is unlikely to finalise its report for a number of days.
 
No further comments will be made until the conclusion of the review process.