Fans and pundits alike were shocked that England hooker Jamie George was allowed back onto the field of play, after displaying symptoms of concussion during Saracen's Champions Cup defeat to Edinburgh.
George was sin binned for is collision with Edinburgh's Luke Crosbie, but was sent back onto the field when his ten minutes were on the sidelines were up, and after completing a HIA.
An independent doctor then examined the footage and decided that George should be stood down at half-time.
Progressive Rugby, a non-profit rugby welfare group released the following statement on the George incident:
In our view England hooker Jamie George demonstrated clear category 1 symptoms and has wrongly undergone a HIA instead of being permanently removed.
This failure of process, which again calls into question the effectiveness of the HIA tool, not only puts the player at potentially catastrophic risk but is damaging to the image of the game we all love.
At a time when the amateur game is being asked to undertake significant change on the grounds of safety, it’s incumbent on the professional game to get their house in order. We ask that the relevant governing body investigate this incident as a matter of urgency and wish Jamie George all the best with his recovery.
Jamie George Could Miss Opening Six Nations Game
Mmm 👇🤔 pic.twitter.com/LoDpkdR4As
— Dai Charles (@DHCharles) January 22, 2023
Whoever cleared Jamie George to go back on the pitch after that head knock and whiplash needs to give their own head a wobble
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) January 22, 2023
Situations like Jamie George coming back onto the field despite being knocked spark out 10 mins prior is why rugby is facing lawsuit.
NOT because Dave from accounts tackled his opposite man slightly above the waist - rugby really needs to get its priorities right! #EDIvSAR
— The Travelling Reserve (@TravelReserve) January 22, 2023
Saracens' DOR Mark McCall also gave his view.
"I don't know exactly what happened.
"It appears that Jamie passed his HIA [head injury assessment] and someone has had a further look at it and thought it better that he were withdrawn from the game.
"And, of course, that's the right decision."