Northampton Make Huge George North Admission
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Northampton have finally admitted that mistakes were made in the handling of George North’s return to play against Leicester and that he may have been concussed.
Director of Rugby, Jim Mallinder has confirmed that the Wales wing will miss their Champions Cup match against Leinster on Saturday and admitted that they perhaps could have dealt with the incident differently.
Television footage showed that North appeared to have been knocked out from a midair tackle by Adam Thompstone during the Premiership clash. However, the 24-year-old, who has a long history of concussions, was able to return to the match eight minutes later after passing a Head Injury Assessment.
Northampton initially stated that he had suffered a neck injury before later claiming that its medical team did not have access to the footage shown to television viewers.
Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union last week set up a Concussion Management Review Group to look at the incident. The CMRG is expected to announce its findings on Thursday and has the power to recommend a misconduct charge be brought against the club or an individual.
After rigorously defending their actions last week, Mallinder have finally admitted that in all probability North, who has also claimed not to have lost consciousness, had suffered a concussion.
“We took him straight away on the Tuesday night to see the specialist,” Mallinder said.
“The specialist looked at all the angles and said that you may have been knocked out and even though you are saying that you remember everything and even though you have got no symptoms at all, no concussive symptoms, we will need to treat you as if you have been unconscious. Therefore it is a concussion. Therefore he has been advised he has a couple of weeks off before he returns.
“I am only talking from my point of view. I am not trying to hide anything. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that our medics are fantastic.
We can go back to issues which happened in the past but I can honestly say that my medics will always put the player first. That is not to say they have not made mistakes and whatever will come out in the George North report will come out, but they were doing what they thought was the right thing.”
The findings for the report are sure to be interesting. Should there be a case against Northampton, it will no doubt have a profound effect on the game going forward.