World Rugby introduces temporary subs after head injuries

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DUBLIN (AP) — A rugby player who suffers a head injury during a match can be replaced temporarily while doctors undergo assessments for concussion under new laws that will become effective from Aug. 1, six weeks before the Rugby World Cup.

World Rugby, the sport's governing body, made the announcement on Friday following "overwhelmingly positive results" in a global trial at elite level.

Martin Rafferty, World Rugby's chief medical officer, says "allowing temporary substitution for head injury has proven to be a massive step forward in protecting our elite players following a head injury."

World Rugby says research by the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows that prior to the temporary substitution rule, 56 percent of players with a confirmed concussion remained on the field following their injury. Now that figure is less than 12 percent.

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