(Reuters) - Independent doctors will be available at all English Premiership matches starting from the 2019-20 campaign, providing clubs an extra set of eyes to assess concussions, according to a statement posted on the league’s website.
Apart from implementing the sport’s head injury assessment protocols, the match-day doctors will be responsible for decisions regarding player replacement for blood and head injuries, the statement said.
The new system, to be funded by the league’s 13 clubs, will also be in place at all Premiership Rugby Cup and home European matches.
“This new initiative continues the evolution of our player welfare strategy,” Matt Cross, Premiership Rugby’s research and development manager, said in the statement.
The 2017-18 audit showed the number of concussions suffered by Premiership players fell, although the average recovery time was higher than previous seasons.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue