Saints star North ‘probably was’ concussed

George North needed medical attention at Welford Road last weekend (picture: Sharon Lucey)

George North needed medical attention at Welford Road last weekend (picture: Sharon Lucey)

3
Have your say

Jim Mallinder says Saints’ medical staff have concluded that George North ‘probably was’ concussed during the defeat at Leicester Tigers.

And the Saints boss admits those who looked after North at Welford Road now realise they would have done things differently had they had access to all views of the incident.

North landed awkwardly after a collision with Tigers wing Adam Thompstone in 16th minute of Saints’ 19-11 defeat at Welford Road on December 3.

The Wales star spent eight minutes off the field having a head injury assessment (HIA) before returning and completing the match.

But some observers felt the Wales star had been knocked unconscious and if that was the case, he should not have returned to the action.

North had said he was remaining still due to fears that he had suffered a neck problem, and the Saints coaching staff insist he has not had any concussion-related symptoms.

The club released an update on Tuesday stating that the 24-year-old would be stood down from playing duties until an independent assessment had been completed, meaning North missed Friday night’s defeat to Leinster.

The update added that “as at every Premiership match, the Saints’ medical team has access to video footage to be used to assist the pitchside assessment of injuries - it is important to note this video footage is not always the full range of replay angles available to the TV viewing audience at home”.

And it now appears that the medics have seen the angles they were unable to at the time, and they believe North may have been concussed.

“At the time of the incident our medics, from the views that they could see and speaking to George, believed George was not concussed,” said director of rugby Mallinder after Saints’ defeat to Leinster on Friday night.

“On reviewing the other views after the incident, they recognised that he probably was and therefore they would have probably done things different.

“He was fine as soon as the incident occurred, he was talking as soon as the physio got to him and there wasn’t an issue.

“He has had no symptoms of concussion.

“The specialist is happy that he is symptom-free, but he’s advised that he takes a couple of weeks recovery.

“The review only happened today, so whether they’ll make it available over a weekend I’m not sure.”

Saints were visited by officials from Premiership Rugby and the RFU on Friday morning as the investigation into the handling of North’s injury continued.

The Concussion Management Review Group (CMRG) has the power to recommend a misconduct charge against a club, or an individual, if it is deemed that rules were not followed.

And with the process a rigorous one, it now looks likely that the conclusion will come early next week.