NRL strengthens concussion laws

The NRL will strengthen concussion rules to make clubs more responsible for identifying and assessing players that may have suffered a concussive injury.

NRL Head of Football Todd Greenberg has revealed that the new rules introduced for the 2014 season have seen a “significant improvement” in the way players are treated after suffering a possible concussion.

But he said the game has identified opportunities to further strengthen these rules to place greater onus on clubs to identify players who have possibly suffered a concussive injury.

Greenberg said the rules have been tightened to require a player to be taken from the field as soon as they exhibit any signs of a possible concussion.

“In other words, we are putting greater onus on the clubs to ensure they identify any player exhibiting signs of concussion and take them from the field immediately,” he said.

“To help them do this, club trainers – who have restricted duties – will be required to help identify players who may have concussion and remove that player from the field for assessment by the club doctor.

“It will no longer be an excuse for clubs to say that the club doctor and trainer did not observe any concussion signs – it is the club’s responsibility to do so.”

Greenberg said the NRL would continue to make changes to the concussion rules if required.

“New rules always undergo some tweaking to ensure they are effective and that is what we are doing,” he said.

The amendments come as the NRL today issued Wests Tigers with a breach notice for an incident involving forward Liam Fulton in Round 5.

He said the club would be fined $20,000 for the breach. As it was a first breach, $10,000 will be suspended but the club will be liable to pay this if there are any further breaches during the 2014 season.

The club has five working days to respond to the breach notice.

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