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'Elephant in room' - Biggar's role in second Test questioned over latest HIA

By Ian Cameron
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

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Dan Biggar’s participation in the second Test of the British & Irish Lions series in Cape Town has been called into question by a concussion advocacy group.


The Lions secured a 22 – 17 victory over the Springboks but Biggar shipped a heavy knock and was removed for an HIA, from which he didn’t return.

After an excellent game, the pressure is now on for Biggar to return to the cauldron but Progressive Rugby, an advocacy group for mitigating concussion in rugby, has called into question if he should return.

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How Rugby players feel about the effects of concussion | RugbyPass Offload
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How Rugby players feel about the effects of concussion | RugbyPass Offload

“So… Elephant in the room Dan Biggar. Great player. Ultimate warrior. Vital to Lions. Reportedly HIA 1st Test. Says he’s “fine and already buzzing” for 2nd.

“But problematic concussion history. Red hot topic after damming DCMS report. Will he pass return to play protocols in 6 days?”

Warren Gatland has issued an update on Biggar, saying: “Dan got a knock and he has to go through the HIA protocols, he’s passed his first one.


“He’d be non-contact early in the week and wouldn’t take part in contact until Thursday if he’s selected.”

It won’t be the Lions’ first concussion drama on tour, with former England scrum-half Kyran  Bracken lambasting management for allowing Exeter Chiefs’ Luke Cowan-Dickie play a week after sustaining a brutal KO that left him unconscious for a minute in the Gallagher Premiership final.

As Progressive Rugby, who are championed by Bracken, point out, Biggar’s issues come just days after a damning report by the DCMS into concussion in the sport.

It also comes after a new study that shows playing elite rugby could lead to changes in brain structure. Over one-fifth of elite players involved in Imperial College’s Drake Rugby Biomarker Study showed signs of abnormalities to the brain’s white matter.


Rugby Players’ Association chief executive Damian Hopley admitted the report’s findings “will scare certain players”.

Rugby Union, lead by World Rugby, is undertaking unprecedented and world-leading measures to reduce the impact of concussion on players but it’s an issue that continues to dog the sport. A lawsuit is being taken in the UK by upwards of 175 players who suffered the ill effects of brain trauma as a result of playing the sport at an elite level.

The Lions team will be named on Tuesday at 10am BST.


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