Conor Murray is confident he is fully recovered from the bang he picked up at Twickenham two weeks ago, but has total respect for concussion protocols and the reasoning behind them.
He spoke today after being named to start at scrum-half on Saturday, when Ireland take on Canada in their first game of the Rugby World Cup.
There had been some suggestions that it might be too soon for the player, who was replaced in the first half of Ireland’s warm-up game against England after hitting his head, but Murray played down the injury.
“I think I nicked just his calf, I tackled him from behind and one of his legs clipped me,” he said.
“It was quite innocuous, I passed all my HIA tests on the sidelines.”
As a precaution, Ireland’s medical team decided against him returning to the pitch.
“The replay showed I was still for three or four seconds so they said not to risk it,” he explained.
“But I cleared all my return-to-play protocols, and I feel great, I’ve trained fully all this week.”
Conor Murray pictured with Rob Kearney in training this week.
The Munster man has had a run of knocks to the head in the past year.
“The same thing happened my last concussion against Australia, it was a replay that showed Quade Cooper, his knee hit my head.
“I felt fine to continue on but they said it was too much to risk.”
He insisted that was the only time he was concussed.
“Someone said I had three in the last year, but one of those was a bang on the neck,” Murray said.
“I had a concussion test and there was no concussion in that at all.”
He was asked was he worried at Twickenham, despite feeling fine.
“Yeah you have to wait and then there could be the possibility of a delayed onset, so you have to hope that doesn’t happen,” he answered.
“But even at the time I had a fair idea I just got an unlucky bang and was pretty much okay straight afterwards.”
In a week that saw Wales flanker Jonathan Thomas retire at 32 due to epilepsy caused by repeated head injuries, Murray was staunch in his support of rugby’s cautious approach to head injuries.
“It’s the precaution and you have to respect that,” he said. “We’re all educated in how serious concussion is nowadays and the spotlight that’s put on it and I have no issue with coming off like that.
“It was the right call. If I had stayed on and got another bang it could have been a lot worse, so these measures are right and I think every player’s aware.”