Aviva Premiership side Leicester Tigers may yet face disciplinary action for the perceived mistreatment of Irish flanker Dominic Ryan.
Ryan, who left Leinster for the ten-time Premiership winners during the summer, suffered a head injury during a 24-11 defeat against Northampton Saints on Saturday.
Committing to a tackle on Northampton's George North 12 minutes into the second half, Ryan's head had appeared to collide with the Welshman's elbow. However, with Leicester trailing by 4 points at the time, a medical assessment carried out by two club medics concluded that Ryan was capable of joining the subsequent scrum. Ryan finished the game.
Although an independent concussion review group may yet investigate how adequate the assessment in question was, contextually, Leicester would have been very keen not to lose Ryan at this particular moment in the game.
Having initially come on for the injured Brendan O'Connor a few seconds into the second half, any subsequent absence on Ryan's behalf would have compounded Leicester's problems as Mike Williams (flanker) was already in the sin bin when the incident occurred.
Facing into a scrum, Leicester's options were naturally limited.
Geordan Murphy, former Irish international, Leicester Tiger and currently an assistant coach with the east Midlands club, stated his understanding that Ryan was only 'winded' and did not require the more extensive HIA (head injury assessment).
However, keen to eradicate any mistreatment regarding such incidents, the English RFU carry out a weekly review of any suspected head injury that may have occurred across the round of fixtures - Ryan's injury is sure to be scrutinised carefully.
For whatever it's worth, fans watching the game were sure Ryan had suffered a head injury.
How is Dominic Ryan not going for a HIA? Negligent from Tigers, clearly unsteady on his feet. #NORvLEI
— Martyn Thomas (@MCThomasSport) September 9, 2017
Meanwhile at Franklin's Gardens, little doubt Tigers' Dominic Ryan was out cold in touch post-tackle - but no sign of HIA removal #NORvLEI
— RugbyUnplugged.com (@RugbyUnplugged) September 9, 2017
They need to get Dominic Ryan off the pitch now. An incident like that, with suspected LOC, can't go unnoticed.
— Alex Shaw (@alexshawsport) September 9, 2017
— Will Kelleher (@willgkelleher) September 9, 2017