Fainga’a gives thumbs up to concussion protocols

Date published: April 5 2016

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Reds centre Anthony Fainga'a has praised rugby’s attitude towards concussion after his enforced lay-off from the game.

Fainga'a was suffering concussion symptoms more than a fortnight after a head knock against the Sharks in May last year, before a foot injury stretched his absence out to nine months.

Almost a year on from that knock, the 29-year-old is confident he has overcome any danger.

“We’ve got match day doctors and if they feel there’s got any kind of symptom or any kind of tackle, you get dragged from the field and all  the rest of it,” he told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.

“The ARU and [World Rugby] are doing everything in their power to control this concussion issue whether it be concussion testing or through concussion protocol.”  

It’s not the first time Fainga'a has had concussion concerns and he admits it’s a risk that comes with his tackling approach.

“For me, as a player, I’ve just got to make sure i don’t get my head in the wrong place,” he added.

“I know I lead with my head in most tackles so probably don't have the best tackling technique but I do whatever it takes to stop the guys from running

“I think the protocols around concussion testing and what’s being done off the field is really good.”

A number of players, particularly in the AFL, have called time on their careers due to concussion, most recently Brisbane Lions defender Justin Clarke, who retired at just 22 still suffering symptoms from a pre-season head knock.

Fainga'a used his nine-month lay-off with a foot injury to progress in his studies, working towards an MBA, and said he was feeling better than ever on his return.

The Reds are one of just two Aussie teams playing this weekend, coming off a bye, when they take on the Highlanders in Brisbane.

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