Fixtures - Top Bar

Making player welfare the priority

Premiership Rugby will continue to prioritise player welfare in 2016 and head of rugby operations Corin Palmer believes a new link-up for the treatment of concussion will only help the cause even further.

This season, all Premiership Rugby players – alongside those in the Championship – have access to facilities at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health in University College London, at the University Hospital Birmingham Foundation NHS Trust and at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust, in addition to drawing on the expertise gained at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court.
 
"Our priority over the last 18 months or two years has been changing the culture through online education," explained Palmer.
 
"We’ve been prioritising the education, awareness and management of concussion.
 
"Premiership Rugby is continuing to focus on educating the players and clubs, together with the RFU and RPA, with an online concussion education programme which has been undertaken by almost 1,500 players, coaches and officials.
 
"Now we’re delighted to announce that we have formal services to support our players with neuropsychological issues or ongoing repetitive concussions thanks to this link-up with the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health in University College London, University Hospital Birmingham Foundation NHS Trust and  Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust.
 
Frimley Park's Colonel Alan Mistlin is a consultant of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation at Headley Court and Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust and believes that the expertise acquired treating military personnel is easily transferred to rugby.
 
He says that concussions and their effect on players must be taken seriously and the fact that Premiership Rugby, the RFU and the RPA are engaging with the issue is a positive step.
 
"The most important thing is that concussions are being taken seriously," said Mistlin.
 
"The second most important thing is that most people get better without any intervention.
 
"We'll be looking at the players with a more complicated picture who haven’t got better.
 
"Most of the soldiers we see are from training accidents and sporting injuries. Everything from rugby to football to falling off walls at event training – they’ve all come to us for many, many years.
 
"The treatment is very easily translatable to rugby and other sporting arenas."
 
"Education is very, very important because if players understand that they are likely to get better then they are more likely to come forward.
 
"Concussion is a brain injury – it may not show up on scans but it is a brain injury. It can affect patients at a chemical level so it has to be taken seriously."
 
Palmer says that this link-up shows how serious Premiership Rugby, the RFU and the RPA are about changing the culture towards concussions in the sport with players encouraged to seek treatment rather than ignoring something that could have repercussions down the line.
 
He points to the positive feedback surrounding the online education programme as proof that players and clubs are taking the message on board.
 
"We conducted an official review of the education module at the end of last season and the users came back to say that it was something they widely support," added Palmer.
 
"We will continue to prioritise making sure that we are innovative and look at every possible method of ensuring that our players who have injuries are diagnosed and treated correctly."
 

Latest News

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 16 Worcester Warriors 14

Worcester Warriors director of rugby Gary Gold was left stunned and disappointed after Newcastle Falcons scrum-half Sonatane Takulua struck late…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans signed off from the Stoop with a majestic performance as he kicked 22 points against Wasps…

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 16 Worcester Warriors 14

Sonatane Takulua scored all of Newcastle Falcons' points - including a late converted try - to down a spirited Worcester…

Match Report: Harlequins 32 Wasps 13

Nick Evans capped a memorable final appearance for Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop by scoring 22 points as they downed…

Alafoti Faosiliva commits future to Worcester Warriors

Samoa international Alafoti Faosiliva will continue his Sixways career after committing his future to the Club. The 31-year-old arrived at…

Alafoti Faosiliva

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

It's the penultimate round of regular-season matches in the Aviva Premiership this weekend - Russell Hargreaves has the details.

Saracens name side to face Bristol Rugby

Saracens have named their team to face Bristol in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday at Allianz Park,…

Schalk Brits

Northampton Saints team news versus Exeter Chiefs

The Northampton Saints team has been named for the Aviva Premiership Round 21 trip to Exeter. Injuries to Louis Picamoles…

JJ Hanrahan

Garvey to start for Bath Rugby in West Country derby

Matt Garvey will make his first start for Bath Rugby since January in the West Country Aviva Premiership derby against…

Matt Garvey

Gloucester Rugby make just one change for trip to Bath

Gloucester Rugby keep faith with the majority of the side that triumphed in La Rochelle last weekend, making just one…

Mariano Galarza

Exeter Chiefs side to face Northampton Saints

Rob Baxter says it’s vital his Exeter Chiefs grasp every opportunity afforded to them as they look to maintain their…

Gareth Steenson

Leicester Tigers team news for final home game

Graham Kitchener and Adam Thompstone will make their 100th starting appearances in a Leicester Tigers shirt in the final home…

Adam Thompstone

Team News for Bristol Rugby to face Saracens

Olly Robinson returns to the starting line-up as Bristol Rugby face reigning Premiership champions Saracens on Saturday (3pm KO). The…

Olly Robinson

Four Changes For Sharks Ahead of Tigers Clash

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Leicester Tigers this Saturday at Welford Road in the Aviva Premiership…

Josh Charnley

Callum Chick not given up on top-six finish for Newcastle Falcons

Promising Newcastle Falcons flanker Callum Chick hasn't given up on helping his side qualify for a Champions Cup place next…