Many supporters have been concerned since the announcement by the Irish staff on Tuesday that Johnny Sexton will be declared fit to play again next Saturday against the All Blacks, a week after having to leave the field at the half-hour mark after having suffered an impact from New Zealander Sam Cane.
Wolrd Rugby has however recently strengthened its return to play protocol a little more after a concussion, new measures applicable since July 1.
But this one is precise.
When a player is removed from the field following an impact to the head, he passes a test, the HIA 1 (Evaluation of Injury to the Head in French, Editor's note), if there are no obvious symptoms of concussion ( lying on the ground, having trouble recovering his senses…, in these cases, the player is automatically considered concussed).
The international body specifies, however, that this first test is not a diagnosis but a decision-making aid tool.
Sexton has passed the HIA 2 and HIA 3 tests conducted by an independent physician
Regarding Sexton, the doctors present at the match decided not to send him back to the field "
to protect him but without there being any proven concussion
", told us a source.
The following ?
After the match, the Irish captain successfully passed the much longer HIA 2, which establishes a diagnosis.
Test successfully passed by Sexton.
He still had to submit to the HIA 3, two days after the match.
The independent doctor, according to the Irish staff, found that there was no sign of concussion.
The Irish medical staff, who know his player, then considered that Sexton was fit to play without taking any risks to his health.
The return to play protocol, strict and marked out, has therefore not been circumvented.
The Irish captain was allowed to play again this Saturday in Dunedin because he was satisfied.