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Rugby concussion plea from father of tragic Ben Robinson


Concussion: Ben Robinson

Concussion: Ben Robinson

Concussion: Ben Robinson

The father of a boy who died after suffering a concussion in a rugby match has told BBC's Panorama more must be done to raise awareness of the dangers of the injury.

Carrickfergus Grammar pupil Ben Robinson fell victim to second-impact syndrome aged 14 after several heavy tackles during a schools game in 2011.

His father, Peter, recently told this paper: "Every time I talk about Ben, it's like reliving it all over again. Second impact syndrome is mismanaged concussion. Incidents have happened since, and they've all been preventable."

World Rugby's chief medical officer told the Panorama programme Rugby And The Brain: Tackling The Truth that a safety review was under way and that rules may be introduced to cut the risk of concussion.

Martin Raftery said: "There's no doubt the biggest area that we know where concussion is going to occur is in the tackle, so that will help us to look at it and see what we can do to make it safer.

"The law could be (changed). I think that my job is to identify risk and look for solutions to make the changes that will bring about protection of the athlete."

Dr James Robson, Scottish Rugby Union's chief medical officer, also said rule changes were needed to make the game safer.

He told the programme that injury data from the grassroots game had been gathered over the past couple of years, and that the number of concussions had almost doubled in that time.

He said: "Two seasons ago we had a real push - we educated people that only by knowing what was happening with injury could we make a significant difference.

"I believe that the doubling of the number was down to education. I strongly believe we need to look at the laws of the game."

Rugby And The Brain: Tackling The Truth will be broadcast on BBC One at 8.30pm this evening

Belfast Telegraph