Gloucester star Chris Harris has called out a decision that led to him being removed from the field for a HIA, yet saw no repercussions for the Sale Sharks player who inflicted the head-high hit on the centre.

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Gloucester suffered a narrow loss following a bad-tempered Premiership match at Kingsholm, which at one point saw Billy Twelvetrees shove a Sale waterboy over an advertising hoarding after he handled a ball that had gone into touch. A sideline brawl ensued.

However, the hit on Harris came earlier in the game, when Sale No.8 Daniel du Preez smashed into the back of Harris, who had already been taken to ground in a tackle, albeit a fraction of a second before the impact. Du Preez makes direct contact with the head of Harris, who was taken from the field for a HIA immediately after the brutal blindside shot.

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Goodbye 2020:

Referee Karl Dickson referred the hit to TMO Geoff Warren, who didn’t feel Du Preez had a case to answer. Now Scottish international Harris has questioned the lack of consistency that led to that decision.

“Frustrated that I was pulled off for a HIA at a crucial point in the game and time was not taken out to review the incident. If TMO doesn’t think there was contact on the head how is it fair to take me off for an assessment? So inconsistent”

The tweet has led to a largescale debate on Twitter around the merits of the decision-making involved in this particular case, and the ongoing concussion crisis that has hit the sport since news of a lawsuit being taken out against the RFU, WRU and World Rugby by former players suffering the ill effects of head trauma.

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Referee Nigel Owens said the hit was of the type that the game needed to get rid of: “No place for that in the game. Not needed, player is already tackled and on the ground. This is the type of action we need out of the game.”

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