Wales' Roberts denies playing while concussed

2016-06-24 10:12
jamie roberts
Jamie Roberts (Gallo Images)

Dunedin - Wales centre Jamie Roberts denied on Friday that he played with symptoms of concussion after he was cleared for the third Test against New Zealand on Saturday.

Roberts, a qualified doctor and an ambassador for a concussion awareness group, collided head-on with the All Blacks' Malakai Fekitoa early in last week's second Test in Wellington.

But although he required eight stitches to a head wound, and described the rest of the match as "a bit of a blur", Roberts was adamant he was not concussed at the time.

Roberts later experienced delayed symptoms of concussion, and was only cleared to play Saturday's game in Dunedin after passing the required medical protocols.

"Following a number of media reports regarding the head impact I sustained on Saturday, I feel the need to clarify the situation," he tweeted on the eve of the third and final Test.

"As a National and Global ambassador for concussion awareness, the importance of how we deal with concussion is essential.

"The appropriate removal of players that are concussed is of paramount importance to the game and should be endorsed at all levels.

"The notion that I continued to play after the first minute on Saturday while having signs and symptoms of concussion is unequivocally incorrect."

Concussion is a hot issue in professional rugby, an increasingly physical sport, and especially with Wales who were criticised after winger George North played on after taking two blows to the head against England in last year's Six Nations.

Roberts said neither he nor the Wales medical team saw any symptoms of concussion at the time of last week's incident, although he later experienced delayed concussion symptoms.

"Having been reviewed on the conclusion of the match, the Welsh medical team felt that I should undertake the graduated return to play protocol, as a delayed symptom of concussion was present," he said.

"Every stage of this graduated return to play process has been successfully completed with close supervision from the medical team and has also been endorsed by a neurosurgeon."

Wales assistant coach Neil Jenkins confirmed Roberts would play in the third Test.

"Jamie's gone through all the protocols and as far as we're concerned he's fit to play," Jenkins said.

Wales are searching for their first win against the All Blacks since 1953 on Saturday, after they lost the opening two Tests in Auckland and Wellington.

Read more on:    wales  |  jamie roberts  |  rugby

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