Concussion accounts for 25 per cent of Premiership Rugby match injuries - report
Concussion is the the most serious and commonly reported injury in Premiership Rugby, a new report has said.
Head injuries have become a focal point in recent seasons following a number of high-profile cases, the most notable of which have involved Wales and British and Irish Lions international George North.
World Rugby recently ruled that Northampton's medics were wrong to let North, who has suffered several head issues, return to action after a suspected concussion against Leicester in December.
Meanwhile, former Wales forward Jonathan Thomas retired from rugby in 2015 after being diagnosed with epilepsy thought to be linked to head traumas suffered during his career.
The injury report, published on Wednesday, revealed that concussion accounts for 25 per cent of all match injuries. The study also stated that concussion compromises 20 per cent of all injuries to the ball carrier and 47 per cent of all injuries to the tackler.
While the overall likelihood of a player getting injured was lower than in any previous season, incidents of concussion have risen by seven per cent.
"The continued rise in the number of reported concussions in the professional game continues to be an area of priority focus for everyone involved in the game," Simon Kemp, Rugby Football Union chief medical officer said.
"Medical staff are all working extremely hard to ensure that we are identifying and managing this complex injury well.
"We all want players who are subsequently diagnosed with concussion to be removed from the field of play at the time of injury and recognise that this approach is likely to see an increase in the number of reported concussions. While we continue to 'recognise and remove', our focus must now be on concussion prevention.
"We know that the tackle is where the overwhelming majority of concussions occur and welcome the recent initiatives around zero tolerance to contact with the head from World Rugby."
Corin Palmer, Head of Rugby Operations at Premiership Rugby added: "The focus on concussion from everyone in the game shows the cultural change, resulting from Premiership Rugby's work with the RFU [Rugby Football Union] and the RPA [Rugby Players' Association] to increase awareness and education about the seriousness of concussion, has come into effect in every area of the professional game.
"This is reflected in the increase in reported concussions and the excellent compliance with the concussion return to play guidelines from all of our clubs."