England: Suspected concussion may rule Jamie George out of Six Nations opener

Dylan Coetzee
Jamie George looks on during a clash for Saracens

Hooker Jamie George may be unavailable for England’s first round Six Nations clash against Scotland early next month after suffering a suspected concussion against Edinburgh.

The Saracens front-row was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle that resulted in a head-on-head collision with Luke Crosbie on Sunday.

Whilst in the sin-bin, the England star passed his head injury assessment (HIA) but was stood down by the independent match doctor. As a result, George will have to go through the relevant protocols, including a minimum stand-down period of seven days.

The right decision

Saracens boss Mark McCall underlined that George did pass his HIA but believes it was the right decision to take the Englishman off.

“I don’t know exactly what happened,” said McCall.

“It appears that Jamie passed his HIA (head injury assessment) and someone has had a further look at it and thought it better that he were withdrawn from the game.

“And, of course, that’s the right decision.”

Saracens fell short in the Champions Cup fixture against Edinburgh, losing 20-14 at the DAM Health Stadium.

McCall praised the character of his side when they went down to 13 men but insisted Saracens were too “passive” on defence, and it cost them.

“We started the game really poorly – passive and lost,” added McCall.

“Strangely enough, when we were down to 13 men, we showed what we should have been like with 15 men – that was really good.

“Our fight and our effort was unbelievable when down to 13. If you come away from home and give away 19 penalties then you’re not going to win many matches.

“I’m not sure why we were as passive defensively as we were today because it’s not like us.”

Settle with the win

Edinburgh boss Mike Blair said he was happy for his side to kick the ball out at the end and settle for the 20-14 win instead of pushing for a home play-off.

The former scrum-half felt the momentum of the game did not suit a late charge, and it was better to hold onto what they already had.

“We wanted them to kick it off,” Blair stated.

“We made that call. You don’t always get these things right, but our view was that we had Sam Skinner in the sin-bin, we were playing into a stiff breeze and we had no momentum in our attack.

“We felt Saracens had the momentum in the last 10 minutes. So, the decision was that we had won three of our four Champions Cup games and beating Saracens, who had only lost one of their last 16 games, would give us a boost.

“We would have loved a home game, but we felt the odds were stacked against us – so we cashed in. We were aware of the situation, and we are comfortable taking the win.

“Saracens were going really hard at us in the breakdown and I just felt the odds were stacked against us.”

READ MORE: Champions Cup: Edinburgh edge Saracens but miss opportunity to seal home knockout tie