Upgrade in concussion tests
Melbourne - SANZAR on Friday said it will immediately introduce a strengthened concussion test for players in Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship in line with moves made by the International Rugby Board.
SANZAR, which runs the Super Rugby competition and the southern hemisphere Rugby Championship, said player welfare was paramount.
"From the moment the IRB announced the introduction of the Head Injury Assessment we made it a priority to take steps that would lead to the enhanced protocol being introduced to SANZAR competitions as soon as possible," SANZAR chief Greg Peters said.
"Player welfare is a primary concern for our sport and we are therefore supportive of the IRB's introduction of the HIA which will be in effect at Super Rugby from the resumption of the competition this weekend following the June Test window."
Rugby authorities have repeatedly warned about the risk of players taking to the field with concussion in recent years amid fears the sport's often brutal collisions could result in long-term brain injury.
The enhanced Head Injury Assessment follows talks between SANZAR and the medical officers of its three national unions, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, and supersedes the current pitch-side concussion assessment.
Two components of the pitch-side concussion checks have been expanded with the memory test strengthened and the balance test altered, improving the information teams and doctors have available when making a return to play decision.