The blue card will join its primary colour counterparts on provincial rugby fields this season, to stop players suspected of, or suffering from concussion immediately returning to the game. The concussion card will be rolled out to the 14 largest provincial Rugby Unions.
The blue concussion card requires medical clearance and a three-week stand-down before adult players can return to the field.
Former professional rugby player Sean Polwart says, “I think it’s a great initiative it takes the control away from the players and puts it in the experts’ hands.”
Two-years ago Polwart, a former Māori All Black and Blues Flanker suffered a concussion while training with the Chiefs. Just last week he announced he would not return to to the field.
“Every concussion is different but obviously for me, the biggest change was not being able to continue to play rugby. A concussion is inevitable so it’s just educating the players to take it serious and for them to know that if they’re not ok to just speak up.”
Concussion Specialist Doug King says in Aotearoa it is estimated there is one concussion for every rugby game played, every season.
“I applaud the Rugby Union for actually doing it but it’s a shame it’s only being done at the adults level it should be done right across.”
Many Provincial Unions are choosing to use Blue Card in other levels and it is used in some secondary school competitions. New Zealand Rugby says in time it wants it to become standard across the community game.
Source: Maori TV