Rugby

Blue cards introduced in Australia

2017-09-04 16:23

Cape Town - Blue cards will make an appearance in Australia's National Rugby Championship next season after a successful trial period with rugby clubs.

The move will allow referees to show players a blue card should they display signs of a concussion on the field, making the game safer for all involved.

The blue card has been rolled out in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, ACT and parts of Sydney, with trials proving successful to date.

Players will be forced to pass a head injury assessment and spend time on the sidelines before being allowed back on the field.

"Country Rugby clubs have paved the way to make the game safer for everyone and soon our elite Super Rugby athletes will be following this protocol and setting the standards worldwide," ARU Head of Community Rugby Services Lachlan Clark told Australia Rugby's official website.

"Australian rugby will also assist in educating coaches, first aid personnel and match officials as well as provide a competition management system which logs all concussion cases."

The introduction is backed by the Tooth family, who lost Nick to a head injury while playing for the Qurindi Lions in 2015.

The Tooth family will raise funds for a world-first sports concussion management program and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter at the Nick Tooth Tens Tournament on October 7.

"This will be the first time the blue card has been used at the Nick Tooth Tens Tournament and while we hope it doesn’t need to be used on the day, we’re glad there are now extra measures in place to make the game safer," Alexandra Tooth, Nick's sister, said.

The games will kick off at the Quirindi Rugby Club in NSW's north west on October 7 at 9 am.

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