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Joe Schmidt's Comments About Mike McCarthy's Concussion Should Raise Some Eyebrows

Joe Schmidt's Comments About Mike McCarthy's Concussion Should Raise Some Eyebrows
By Gary Reilly Updated

It's not about jumping on the bandwagon of the issue of the day and it's certainly not about criticising Joe Schmidt for the sake of it. However, when delivering another unfortunate Irish injury update today, the Irish coach missed a rare beat and it's something that needs to be addressed.

Having confirmed that Sean O'Brien and Dave Kearney are both out for the rest of the Six Nations, it was the news that Mike McCarthy would miss the rest of the season that should cause the most worry. The hit that McCarthy took from Jack McGrath and the subsequent sight of the big Leinster man lying still on the Paris turf was sickening.

And now the news comes that, having seen a specialist, the 34 year old will most likely have to miss the rest of the season as a result of that blow to his head. We're not doctors, we don't know the exact details. All we have to go by is what the Irish camp are saying.

This time however, you'd have to read between the lines to realise what was actually being said was significantly more serious than was being made out.

Mike McCarthy has seen a specialist now and he’s going to effectively re-condition himself, freshen himself up to kick-start next season now.

That’s the latest word. Maybe that’s not the definitive word. I think just for him it’s an opportunity to freshen himself up a little bit and that will give him a good entry point to next season.

Talk about putting a positive spin on things. Imagine for a second if that was Jonathan Sexton we were talking about. Take a look at that hit and imagine the outrage if that was Sexton and Schmidt suggested it was 'an opportunity to freshen himself up a little bit'.

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We're not trying to hammer rugby for being unnecessarily dangerous, and we're certainly not trying to demonise Joe Schmidt who's effectively the messenger in all this but you have to think this was an opportunity to come out and level with the general public about just how serious incidents like this can be.

It's positive to see no chances are being taken and McCarthy is being taking out of the firing line but in terms of the PR battle that rugby is fighting, trying to put a positive spin on something that serious doesn't help anyone. There are concerned parents out there, genuinely considering taking their kids out of the game and to see the Irish coach suggesting that such a serious collision is 'an opportunity to freshen things up' is not what anyone needs.

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See also: Ireland's Six Nations Campaign Goes From Bad To Worse With Latest Injury Update

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