The George North Concussion Saga Is Set To Continue Longer Than Expected
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The George North saga is set to continue with the news today that the investigation into the incident will now go into next week.
Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Football Union last week set up a Concussion Management Review Group to look at the incident. The CMRG was expected to announce its findings on Thursday and has the power to recommend a misconduct charge be brought against the club or an individual.
It’s now been revealed however, that the review which is said to be “rigorous”, will now go into next week.
Director of Rugby, Jim Mallinder yesterday 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.
Ex-Saints team manager Lennie Newman says Northampton will be “frustrated” that the investigation has still to reach a conclusion.
“Northampton will just want it out of the way – it’s not great PR for the club,” Newman told BBC Sport.
“And, first and foremost, they want to get one of their star signings on the pitch. They’re struggling at the minute and want to be able to select him.”
TV replays appeared to show North lying motionless after a high tackle from Leicester’s Adam Thompstone in the game on 3 December, but he returned to play after passing a pitch-side assessment.
The Concussion Management Review Group comprises RFU’s director of professional rugby, Nigel Melville; Phil Winstanley, Premiership Rugby’s rugby director; and an independent chairman, Dr Julian Morris.
The wait for the decision is understood to be because the Premiership and RFU are working together, as well as the incident having no previous precedent.
“If there’s one person that knows anything about head injuries that’s George North, having suffered so many in his young career,” continued Newman.
“I worked at Saints for many years and it is a superb medical team there who also knew George’s medical history and would not have sent him out if they didn’t feel he was right to do so. And the player has said he was not unconscious.”
The findings of 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