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Dublin: 14 °C Friday 19 September, 2014

Australian Rugby Union appoint dedicated concussion specialist

The Union also promise head injury-focused pitch-side doctors with the support of video replays to assess each injury.

Flanker George Smith was at the centre of one of last summer's big concussion controversies against the Lions.
Flanker George Smith was at the centre of one of last summer's big concussion controversies against the Lions.
Image: PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE AUSTRALIAN RUGBY Union today underlined a growing concern and awareness of concussion in the game by becoming the first union to appoint a full-time ‘concussion specialist’.

The ARU have installed former Stormers and Springbok staff member Dr Ryan Kohler to the role.

He is tasked with overseeing development, implementation and monitoring of concussion guidance given at schools and club levels as well as offering support to team doctors and medical staff at all levels of the game, says today’s statement the ARU website.

Kohler’s first role with the ARU will see him be present on the sidelines for each of the Wallabies’ three Tests against France this month. And the union say that all future Test matches in Australia will have a doctor whose sole focus will be the assessment of concussion present on the sidelines.

That will not always be the duty of Kohler, but the doctor in that role will have access to slow-motion replays to help them more clearly understand the sort of blow sustained by a player showing symptoms of concussion.

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