LONDON (Reuters) - Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has made light of England flanker James Haskell lasting a mere 35 seconds in his comeback match on Sunday.
“It was an outstanding 35 seconds, wasn’t it,” he told BBC radio after Haskell came off the bench and then appeared to lose consciousness after being spreadeagled in a tackle in the 22-16 victory over Leicester.
Haskell, who had not played for nearly seven months due to toe surgery, was able to walk off after several minutes of treatment.
”The most important thing is that he is fine,“ said Young. ”He would obviously have wanted a lot more, but thankfully he is OK.
“Everybody was concerned initially but once they saw he was OK, he is getting a little bit of stick in the dressing room.”
Young said Haskell’s chances of playing against four times champions Toulouse in Saturday’s European Champions Cup clash at the Ricoh Arena would depend on the medical team.
“Obviously player welfare is the most important thing,” he added.
Concussion has been in the spotlight with Northampton heavily criticised last month for allowing Wales winger George North to continue playing after suffering a head injury against Leicester.
World Rugby emphasised then that its ‘recognise and remove’ protocols state that “any player displaying clear or suspected signs of loss of consciousness should be permanently and immediately removed from the field of play.”
Haskell’s Sunday scare will be an added concern for England’s head coach Eddie Jones, who is already grappling with several injury problems among his forwards ahead of the Six Nations.
Billy and Mako Vunipola are both ruled out with knee injuries while former captain Chris Robshaw has a shoulder injury.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Amlan Chakraborty