Leinster coach Matt O'Connor has admitted he didn't actually know whether or not Brian O'Driscoll or Fergus McFadden had suffered concussions two weeks ago.
Both men were today officially passed fit enough to start this weekend’s Rabo Direct Pro 12 final against Glasgow at the RDS, despite being taken off the pitch in their semi-final win over Ulster two weeks ago. Both were at the time reported to be carrying concussions.
McFadden appeared to be the worse of the two as he seemed to be struggling to make his way around the pitch and was wobbly.
Speaking today though, O’Connor said they have passed all medical tests.
“I don’t know to be honest, I didn’t know the label that was attached to it but they are good as gold, they have passed all protocols and have trained for the last week so for me there is no issue at all,” O’Connor said.
“The technicality bits around concussion are knocked out and there are varying degrees around those issues and he (McFadden) was fairly mild in relation to what it was, as was Brian and they have recovered fully and trained well and they are fine”
Since the Florian Fritz debacle a number of weeks ago, Toulouse have been criticized by rugby clubs and teams for allowing him play on when clearly he wasn’t right.
A debate has been had in the aftermath about whether the decision of players playing on needs to be taken away from team medical staff and coaches.
Currently it’s ultimately the referee who has the final say, although teams will dispute that.
There have been calls for an independent body to be appointed to make such decisions, though O’Connor doesn’t think that is necessary.
“The number one priority for the team doctor is the welfare of all players so I really don’t think you will get a better decision by an independent because the doctor already has the best interest of the players at heart,” O’Connor said.
“For me it’s a no brainer, if the doctor gets it wrong then the coach and doctor are the ones accountable.
“There’s a lot of talk this year about concussion and new rules and protocols but it’s pretty black and white, it’s a shame what happened in France but that’s a one-off.”