Rugby

Jamie Cudmore Gives Frightening Account Of Rugby Club's Lax Approach To Concussion

Jamie Cudmore Gives Frightening Account Of Rugby Club's Lax Approach To Concussion

Former Clermont Auvergne second row Jamie Cudmore appeared on BT Sport's Rugby Tonight on Wednesday to speak about concussion.

The 38-year-old is currently in the process of taking legal action against Clermont due to his belief that the club failed in their medical duty to him during the 2015 Champions Cup semi-final against Saracens and the final against Toulon.

The Canadian suffered a concussion during the semi-final following a collision with Billy Vunipola. Despite a doctor deciding that he was unfit to continue playing, he was allowed return to the field.

Cudmore described what happened in a frank discussion with Martin Bayfield.

I suffered some pretty bad after effects after two concussions in a short period of time of the 2015 European Cup semi-final and two weeks later in the final.

I was involved in a head collision in the semi-final in Saint-Etienne. I was taken off the field for blood but our doctor realised that I'd had a concussion. I was taken off the field for blood and for the HIA (Head Injury Assessment) which happened in the changing room during that game. I was deemed unfit to play. I was told to take off my boots and sit down.

A few minutes later the doctor came running back in the changing room and said 'Listen, the other second row is no good. Can you come back on?' Like any rugby player, we always want to play. I said 'Yeah. Sweet.' I laced my boots back up and went out and finished the game.

Clermont would win a tight game against Saracens, progressing to face fellow Top 14 side Toulon in the final at Twickenham a fortnight later.

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Cudmore's experience in the final was similar to the semi-final. Following a knock sustained early in the game, he was allowed to continue after passing the HIA. Later in the game he suffered another knock and was taken to the dressing room to receive attention for a blood injury. While there, he exhibited one of the more visible signs of concussion - vomiting. He was still allowed to finish the game.

I had some really bad after effects in the week following. I was given complete rest. I was brought into see a neurosurgeon. I did many tests during the 10 days after that and I was deemed fit to play in the final two weeks later in Twickenham.

Clearly I wasn't good enough to play because the first contact I made in the final, about 10 minutes in, I was concussed again in a tackle with Chris Masoe.

Just the impact of my shoulder going into Masoe's side was enough to spark me out.

I was taken off. I passed the HIA. I was allowed to come back on the field as I had passed. Later on in the game I suffered a head knock with Juan Smith. I went off for blood. During that time I was getting stitched up I became very nauseous and began vomiting in the changing room in front of a few other players who were there. I was still allowed to go back on the field and finish the game.

You can watch Jamie Cudmore on Rugby Tonight below.

PJ Browne
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