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Sale concussion investigation set to conclude next week


Sale's Samoa international TJ Ioane took a blow to the head against Harlequins

Sale's Samoa international TJ Ioane took a blow to the head against Harlequins

Sale's Samoa international TJ Ioane took a blow to the head against Harlequins

An investigation into Aviva Premiership club Sale Sharks possibly breaching head injury management protocol is likely to be concluded next week.

The probe follows an incident in Sale's Premiership clash against Harlequins on January 7, when Sharks' Samoa back-row forward TJ Ioane completed the match despite appearing to show signs of concussion in the first half.

The Rugby Football Union and Premiership Rugby concussion management review group held an initial meeting, with further documents and video footage now being reviewed.

In a joint statement, the RFU and Premiershp Rugby said: "The joint RFU/Premiership Rugby concussion management review group met following the referral of the untoward incident involving Sale Sharks player TJ Ioane.

"Following the initial meeting and requests made to the club, the group has received further documents and footage which it is in the process of reviewing.

"Once that process has been completed, together with consideration as to whether any further information is required, the group will determine its next steps.

"The review is expected to be concluded next week."

Ioane took a blow to the head while tackling Harlequins forward Dave Ward in the 30th minute of a 29-26 defeat at the Twickenham Stoop, groggily returned to his feet and remained in action until the final whistle.

The incident was not picked up by the member of the Sharks medical team appointed to look for instances of concussion during the match with the assistance of television replays, and so Ioane was not removed for a head injury assessment.

Last month, a joint RFU and Premiership Rugby review opted against charging Northampton or their medical staff with misconduct for allowing Wales wing George North to resume playing despite appearing to have been knocked unconscious in a league match against Leicester.

The decision not to issue any sanction, but to outline nine recommendations on concussion management, was widely criticised.

Ioane, meanwhile, is not part of Sale's matchday 23 for Saturday's European Champions Cup pool game against the Scarlets.