Planet Rugby

No action on Fritz farce til September

22nd July 2014 13:58

Share:

Toulouse centre Florian Fritz leaves the pitch bleeding

Led off: Florian Fritz

French rugby powerbrokers have confirmed no decision will be taken on the Florian Fritz concussion saga until the LNR Executive Committee meets in early September - some four months after the Toulouse centre was led bloodied and reeling from the Stade Ernest Wallon pitch.

In the wake of the incident during the club's Top 14 barrage against Racing Mètro on May 9, the player's ill-advised return to the game and the apparent misconduct of head coach Guy Novès are the subject of an investigation from a panel of doctors assembled by the LNR.

Repeated attempts from the IRB - who requested the French bodies launch the investigation - and Planet Rugby to press both the FFR and LNR for answers proved fruitless until Tuesday, when a spokeswoman for the professional league administrators confirmed no action will be taken until after the September meeting.

Though this appears an extraordinary length of time to establish the facts and, where necessary, mete out punishment, the spokeswoman explained that the LNR has no specific legislation to follow after such an event, as it does, for instance, following an illegal tackle, adding that "a lot of people are still on holiday".

"It's not an investigation - we call this an assessment," said the spokeswoman, who could not confirm whether Fritz underwent any form of concussion evaluation while off the field.

"The executive committee will meet on September 9th, and information from the assessment will be given during this meeting. The first people that will be informed of the outcome are the executive committee.

"What happened is beyond any rules that we have - that's why there is an assessment. It doesn't correspond to anything in our rules. We have rules for concussion, but there are so many questions to answer in this case."

The spokeswoman added that all domestic professional doctors must attend mandatory concussion refresher courses ahead of the new season, or risk being replaced by an independent counterpart at the cost of their club.

"Concussion is not something that is new to us - it has been an important matter for us for many years.

"We held a press conference three years ago to announce our concussion protocols - only four journalists attended.

"On July 10th, all the doctors from the Top 14 and Pro D2 were invited for mandatory further concussion training at the FFR headquarters to refresh their knowledge. Coaches and physiotherapists will also be given training.

"Not all doctors were able to attend, so there will be another session at the end of September.

"If, for any reason, a club doctor does not attend either meeting, the LNR will appoint an independent doctor for the club's home games and bill the club for the cost.

"During the knockout stages of both competitions, where club doctors are under more pressure, we will automatically appoint independent doctors - they will be responsible."

While acknowledging the propensity for players to attempt to hide or mask concussion symptoms to avoid a spell on the sidelines, the spokeswoman confirmed transparency will be encouraged among the French elite in line with the IRB's commitment to driving cultural change.

By Jamie Lyall

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39