Elite players with a concussion must now sit out a minimum 12-day rest period (up 5 extra days from previous rules).
'World Rugby' chief executive Alan Gilpin said "World Rugby’s approach to managing concussion within the game continues to be led by scientific evidence and independent expert opinion.”
The change in policy is based on recommendations by World Rugby’s independent Concussion Working Group.
“We will continue to work with players across the world, at all levels of the game, to educate the importance of brain health and of reporting symptoms where they occur while doing everything we can to reduce the risks.”
"We know that any collision sport, such as Rugby, will result in injury and it is incumbent upon us to provide our players with the best advice we can and that is exactly what we’re doing with these protocols.”
'International Rugby Players' Head of Player Welfare Conrad Smith said “The key to this working – and the important part in changing the culture around concussion – is that players report their head injuries and any symptoms".
“Seeing first-hand the amount of work and research that is going into this extremely complex issue, I have confidence in the approach taken and that the authorities are looking after the players’ best interests.”
Note that longer stand down periods remain for community games where there is no full-time medical supervision.
ACC and New Zealand Rugby’s Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) protocol is a good guide to follow for all sports-related concussions.
The mandatory stand-down period is 23 days for people under 19, and 21 days for people 19 and over.
Remember these timeframes are a minimum. You may need to spend longer in each stage depending on how you feel.
If at any stage you feel worse, you need to return to the previous stage until you feel better.
In some cases, symptoms may be prolonged or a gradual return to activity may not be tolerated.
If recovery is lengthy, a concussion specialist or clinic can help with rehabilitation.
If you are under 19 and still having symptoms after 4 weeks or over 19 and still having symptoms after 2 weeks you need to go back to your doctor