Six Nations Respond To France’s Abuse Of The HIA Yesterday

This has to stop.

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

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 scrum-half was off for a Head Injury Assessment, meaning Maxime Machenaud could return to the field.

Referee Nigel 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.

Six Nations have now 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.

This is not the first time France has blatantly abused the HIA protocol. They caused huge controversy, and were punished, for their shady tactics against Wales last year in the Six Nations.

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