Northampton receive no punishment for handling of George North concussion

The club face no sanction for allowing the Welsh player to return to the field of play

Northampton will face no sanction over their handling of George North's concussion during the English Premiership side's defeat to Leicester.

A joint Premiership Rugby and Rugby Football Union (RFU) review panel announced the news on Tuesday and the Welsh winger has since been stood down from action. 

The report says he should've been taken off against, even without access to TV replays that showed him lying motionless. It also points out that the player's previous high profile head injuries should have come into play when deciding whether he should be allowed back onto the field of play.

North appeared motionless after a tackle from Adam Thompstone during their defeat to Leicester in December, but the panel said that Northampton did not "intentionally ignore the best interests of the player".

The panel said: "On the balance of probabilities, having reviewed the real-time footage available to the medical team at the time of the incident, there were ground to conclude that the player should have been suspected of having had a period of loss of consciousness following a head injury event and therefore, under the Head Injury Assessment criteria, should not have been returned to the field of play following his temporary substitution…

"Subsequently, [we] acknowledge the club has accepted that the player may have lost consciousness. [We do] not however consider that [we] need to impose any sanction against the club or any of its individuals as a result of this incident."

You can read the full ruling by clicking here.

Julian Morris, Independent Chairman of the Concussion Management Review Group, said: "This is the first review into a head injury incident we have seen following the introduction of the concussion management system this season in the Premiership. 

"We wanted the review, which was primarily around the medical management and treatment of George North, to be thorough and rigorous to ensure that we fully understood the circumstances of this case.

"While the challenges in the consistent delivery of best practice in the on-field management of head injuries in professional sport are recognised, player welfare is paramount to the game of rugby.

"We believe that the clear recommendations put forward by this group will minimise the risk of incidents of this nature happening in the future, as well as providing ways to improve the systems and processes in place to protect the welfare of players."