We want to ensure that anyone involved in rugby - players, coaches, refs and family - know what to look out for and what to do when they suspect a player has sustained a concussion.

We all have a role to play in recognizing, removing and helping to manage concussions.


A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can result from a direct hit to the head or from a blow to the body. You don’t have to be knocked out or even be hit on the head directly to be concussed.

These hits cause the head to move rapidly or stop suddenly which makes the brain to bounce around and twist in the skull. This damages and stretches the brain cells which causes them to release chemicals which affects how the brain works. This also makes the brain more sensitive to increased injury, until it fully recovers


No one can ignore a concussion. Players who are concussed are often unaware of their symptoms and may want to keep playing! We all need to take responsibility for the player’s well-being.

To help us better identify and manage concussion we have broken it down to the 4 R’s of Concussion

  1. Recognise - the symptoms of a concussion.
  2. Remove - the player from the field.
  3. Recover – see a doctor and complete the Graduated return to play program.
  4. Return – After 21 days standdown and medical clearance, the player can return to contact training.

Concussion symptoms may occur straight away or up to 48 hours after the event happened. Extra caution is needed for younger players. This is because children and adolescents often take longer to recover. 

Here are the signs and symptoms to look out for when you suspect a player has been concussed. 

If a player presents with any of these Red Flag symptoms they must seek urgent medical attention:

  • Neck pain
  • Increasing confusion
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Double vision
  • Weakness or tingling/burning in arms or legs
  • Decreasing levels of consciousness
  • Bad or worsening headaches
  • Unusual behaviour changes