Rugby has made incredible strides when it comes to tackling the issue of head injuries in the sport. It has certainly been at the forefront of the issue over the last decade or so, with a number of law changes implemented in order to ensure the safety of players.
The addition of the HIA has been a major step forward, with referees also now clamping down on any high tackles.
Johnny Sexton is one player who is very familiar with the new regulations, having been forced off with head injury concerns on a number of occasions in recent years.
In fact, he has been forced to undergo HIAs on three separate occasions since February.
Appearing on The Late Late Show last night in his role as DEBRA Ireland ambassador, the Leinster out-half said this has been frustrating at times, although he is a big fan of the protocols in rugby.
There can be [too much discussion]. It can be frustrating at times because you go off for a HIA and sometimes you get told to stay off and you are fine to continue or you feel you are fine to continue.
But if the doctor suspects something he’ll keep you off and then that can lead to all sorts of speculation and talking and that can be frustrating.
You can be perfectly healthy but I suppose you get labelled with one term or another.
That can be frustrating, and it can be dangerous because it can maybe encourage some players to play on when they are not right...
I think Ireland are at the forefront of everything that’s going on with leading the charge against concussion.
It’s obviously a very serious issue and one that we take incredible serious in Leinster and Ireland and yeah, I don’t think there’s much more we could be doing.
I think the lawmakers are doing everything they can to make the game as safe as possible. Of course, it’s a physical sport and things happen but it’s getting safer and safer, I think.
Sexton is set to have a a big few weeks ahead, with Leinster set to face La Rochelle in a Champions Cup semi-final.
He will also be hoping to be part of The Lions tour to South Africa during the summer.