London - Players who suffer head injuries during this year's World Cup in England will be allowed a temporary substitute while they undergo a medical assessment, the sport's global governing body announced Friday.
World Rugby said it was adopting temporary substitution for head injuries at the elite level into its full-time law book on August 1, just over a month before the start of the World Cup in England after what World Rugby said were "overwhelmingly positive results" during a global trial period.
Martin Raftery, World Rugby's chief medical officer, said: "As someone who has been involved as a team doctor in elite sport for more than 25 years, I firmly believe that medical management of concussion in rugby has never been stronger. Law changes, pitch-side and post-injury management, combined with greater education and awareness are ensuring that we continue to put our players first."
Officials cited research from last year's British Journal of Sports Medicine which said that prior to the temporary substitution rule, 56 percent of players with a confirmed concussion remained on the field following their injury, with the figure now under 12 percent.