Ireland’s Jeremy Loughman had to leave the field after an early collision against the Maori All Blacks but was allowed to return due to ‘a gap in communications’; Watch New Zealand vs Ireland from 7.30am on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event
Last Updated: 01/07/22 8:49am
Prop Jeremy Loughman was mistakenly permitted to rejoin Ireland’s game against the Maori All Blacks after suffering concussion symptoms, according to New Zealand Rugby.
The Munster loosehead fell backwards as he attempted to get up following a collision in the second minute of Wednesday’s tour opener in Hamilton and was taken for a head injury assessment.
Cian Healy replaced Loughman – but the 26-year-old returned to the field later in the first half before Ireland decided to withdraw him again at the interval as a precaution.
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However, a New Zealand Rugby review into the incident has concluded the correct concussion protocols were not followed due to ‘a gap in communications’.
A statement from NZR medical manager Karen Rassmussen said: “As a result of this review, NZR believes Ireland prop Jeremy Loughman should not have been allowed back on to the field during the first half.
“While NZR stands by the processes in place and is satisfied that player welfare is the number one priority for medical staff at the match, we have identified a gap in communications, which meant critical video evidence was not fully accounted for as part of the head injury assessment process undertaken by the independent matchday medical team.
“We will be reinforcing the full HIA process and protocols for the remainder of the series to ensure video evidence is communicated more accurately between independent matchday medical staff to enable them to make the right call with regards to player safety.”
Loughman, who is yet to win a Test cap, has not been included in Ireland’s line-up for the first match in the series against New Zealand in Auckland on Saturday, live on Sky Sports Action and Main Event from 7.30am.
Healy, who was later forced off himself with a leg injury during Ireland’s 32-17 defeat to the Maori All Blacks, has nevertheless been named on the bench for the first Test.