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World Rugby Player Care and Laws Symposium gets underway

A three-day World Rugby Player Welfare and Laws Symposium is taking place this week to consider what further action can be undertaken to prevent injuries and help in supporting player safety.

World Rugby Player Care and Laws Symposium gets underway

This year's event is being carried out virtually and started off behind closed doors before opening to the public from Tuesday.

Symposiums have been known in the past to help change the rule around rugby, with two of those changes coming from last years event, with the first being a reduction of the risk of head injuries through stronger and more consistent on and off-field sanctioning of high-risk tackles and the second sought to reduce the risk of concussion at the breakdown and enhance the contest for possession by changing the laws.

The 2021 Symposium has three dedicated themes - medic workshops, player education and welfare-driven laws and research.

Speakers at the event include the likes of Craig Ritchie, director of the Centre for Dementia Prevention, and emotional literacy educator and trainer Karen BK Chan, who will run a session on mental well-being.

World Rugby's director of rugby and high performance and former Ireland coach Joe Schmidt, will lead a session on the implementation of the new head-contact process, which is aimed at reducing concussions by changing players' behaviour.

A player education workshop will conclude on day two of the event and cover a ranger of topics including the head injury assessment and long-term health of players.

"The Player Welfare and Laws Symposium is a cornerstone of our evidence-based approach to injury-reduction in rugby as it brings together the latest medical knowledge and game trends to inform the advancement of welfare-driven law trials and changes that benefit all levels," said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

Author: Jake Wilkin