Rugby - George North knocked out in new head injury scare

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Rugby - George North knocked out in new head injury scare

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:28 pm

Rugby - George North knocked out in new head injury scare

Welsh winger George North was stretchered off after being knocked out during Northampton's 52-30 Premiership win over Wasps.

North was left unconscious by a collision with the knee of Wasps' Nathan Hughes as he scored his second try of the match.

North missed one Six Nations game after being concussed but carried on playing against England when he was twice hit in the head last month, and there were worrying scenes on Friday as he lay motionless on the ground for a few anxious moments but then started moving shortly afterwards as medics attended to him.

Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder said: "He is okay now; he is up and walking about in the dressing room. It is a knock to his head, which is not good. We will look after him and make sure he comes back when he is right."

Concussion is an increasingly important topic in sport. American football's NFL is close to agreeing a $1 billion (£655m) compensation deal with players who suffered concussions playing the sport, while F1 driver Fernando Alonso missed the opening race of the season for fear of suffering a second concussion following a crash in testing.

So North's injury, coming just a month after the Six Nations incident, will prompt suggestions that he should have an extended period away from the sport to recover fully.

Hughes was sent off for kneeing North in the head in the 35th minute as the Northampton man scored his second try, but the Wasps number eight protested his innocence.

Mallinder, though, believes the challenge was "reckless" and called for action.

He said: "It was a tremendous kick-off by Stephen Myler and a tremendous take by Samu Manoa.

"George North still had quite a lot to do and scored a good try in the corner. The opposition have got to then be very careful once the try is scored and it was reckless coming in with the knee. Some serious consequences happened because of it."

But Wasps director of rugby Dai Young labelled the sending off "harsh". Wasps had been leading 20-8 through two tries from Christian Wade, who went on to complete his hat-trick, when the incident occurred.

With Hughes off the field, Saints scored two tries in five minutes through a penalty try and Alex Corbisiero crossing the whitewash.

The hosts then added three more tries in the final eight minutes of the game with two from Ahsee Tuala and one from Ken Pisi.

Young said: "First of all I hope George is okay, Nathan has gone looking for him to make sure he is okay - he is not that type of person.

"When you slow anything down it looks worse than it actually is and when the crowd get on the referee's back - a young referee - there is only going to be one decision. We felt it was a bit harsh.

"That eight minutes before half-time killed us, and the last eight minutes made the scoreline look a lot worse. It was a little bit cruel we didn't come away with a bonus point.

"The officials work as a team, you have to have help from your touch judges. I am not saying for a minute we lost the game because of the referee, as Northampton played a lot of good stuff, I am just surprised a few things were given."
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