Saints stress support for medical staff after North report is released

Saints have issued a statement stressing the club's management remains 'absolutely confident' in the ability of the medical team after the report on George North's head injury was released.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 3:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 2:58 pm
The Saints medical staff attended to George North on the pitch at Welford Road (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Saints will face no sanctions for their handling of the incident which saw North return to the field of play at Leicester on December 3 having appeared to have been knocked unconscious after an aerial collision with Adam Thompstone in the 16th minute of the match.

The Northampton medics said they did not have all necessary replay angles available to them and the Concussion Management Review Group (CMRG) accepted that Saints always placed the player’s welfare at the top of their priority list.

The CMRG also “did not consider that the medical team (or club) failed to complete HIA protocol nor intentionally ignored the player’s best interests.”

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And the Saints statement read: “Northampton Saints accepts the conclusion that George should not have been allowed to return to the field of play, but is pleased that the CMRG has reflected our concerns about the current technologies and processes available to medical teams when assessing concussion.

“The club believes that this is now an opportunity for the whole rugby community to reflect on the CMRG’s recommendations to ensure the highest levels of player safety and well-being.

“The club’s management remains absolutely confident in the expertise, professionalism and commitment of our medical teams and is encouraged to see that the CMRG has found that the medics had nothing other than player welfare in mind during this incident.

“The club continues to take player safety extremely seriously and now looks forward to working with the CMRG and the wider rugby community to improve current injury assessment practices so that these sorts of incidents can hopefully be avoided in the future.

“In the meantime, the club continues to offer George its full support and looks forward to seeing him on the pitch again as soon as he is ready.”