Medical chief enters debate on rugby safety

Dr James Robson
Dr James Robson
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Dr James Robson, Scottish Rugby’s Head of Medical Services, has entered a debate which could lead to the Six Nations Championship being moved back by at least a month so as to help create a global season on safety grounds.

That call is today being made as concern about concussion heightens due to over-playing in the increasingly physical sport.

The need to align the hemispheres to prevent individuals going off on tour and playing almost all-year round is seen by some as a way forward and in a question and answer session with the New York Times, the Murrayfield-based medic, a six-times Lions doctor, said: “Unless we get a global agreement, then it’s always going to be difficult.

“The more successful you are as a player, the more games you’re likely to play. You’re going to be pulled in two parts because you’ve got your professional club who pays your wage, by and large, apart from the people who are centrally contracted. And then you’re desperate to play for your country. It is those kinds of conflicts which can only result in an extra toll on your body.”

Dr Robson was responding to a question about whether players’ careers could be shortened due to the present schedule and while it is not envisaged any change would come before the 2019 World Cup it is understood relevant parties are now more willing to recognise the seriousness of concussions.