Retirement Suggested For Wales & Northampton Winger George North
Fans and pundits have been united in calling for George North to possibly consider retirement.
The Lions winger was officially stood down yesterday pending an investigation and medical following his latest head injury. North suffered the injury in Northampton’s game with Leicester this past weekend with the English club blasted for allowing him to return to the game just six minutes after the sickening thud that left him motionless.
Northampton Saints issued the following statement regarding the ongoing debate, revealing that the talented young winger will be stood down until a full review is complete of the incident in question and his long-term welfare.
As at every Aviva Premiership match, the Saints’ medical team has access to video footage to be used to assist the pitchside assessment of injuries. It is important to note this video footage is not always the full range of replay angles available to the TV viewing audience at home.
The medical team can only base their decisions on the evidence available to them at the time of assessment. World Rugby protocol dictated, given the evidence available to the medical team, the use of a Head Injury Assessment.
George was fully assessed by the doctor away from the pitch using the established protocols and processes, and passed fit to return to play. As with all such injuries, if evidence suggesting a loss of consciousness had been available to the medical team at the time of assessment, George would not have been allowed to return to the field of play.
The Saints reiterated that North remains well, but has indeed been stood down from play until the full review process is complete.
All rugby supporters will no doubt be delighted to learn that George remains well. Nevertheless, Northampton Saints continues to place player welfare as its number one priority, and is referring George to an independent expert as part of the club’s ongoing assessment process and George will be stood down from play until this process is complete.
There is a concussion management and monitoring protocol in place for all Aviva Premiership matches which provides for independent review and the opportunity for more detailed investigation. This is an ongoing process with several stages, and the club looks forward to contributing to this.
Additionally Northampton Saints is seeking to work with all parties to improve the availability of all footage that may assist team medics with injury management.
This incident this past weekend is not the first time he has suffered a head related injury, with many people suggesting he needs to consider his long-term future and think about possibly retiring in the interest of his welfare.