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'We would rather get it wrong by giving them more time': Leinster's Ryan, Doris concussion update

By Sam Smith

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Guinness PRO14 champions Leinster have given an update on the concussion situation regarding their Ireland forward duo James Ryan and Caelan Doris who were marked absent for their recent league final win over Munster and their Heineken Champions Cup knockout stage schedule which next sees Leo Cullen’s team take on Exeter next Saturday in England. 


Lions lock contender Ryan missed the Six Nations round two match for Ireland against France following a blow suffered versus Wales at the start of February, and he has been off-limits since a follow-up up knock was sustained in the round four match at Scotland on March 14 23 days ago.

Doris, meanwhile, hasn’t played any rugby since a January PRO14 appearance at Munster, the back row pulling out of the Ireland Six Nations squad at the start of the round one week versus Wales at the start of February in order to undergo further investigation of his concussive symptoms.  

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The RugbyPass Knocked documentary investigating concussion in rugby
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The RugbyPass Knocked documentary investigating concussion in rugby

Asked what the state of play was with the unavailable pair heading into the Champions Cup quarter-final, Leinster assistant Felipe Contepomi said: “It’s a good question. We are not going to risk. It is a very sensible case in terms of when we talk about a head knock or a concussion, whatever name you want, we don’t take it lightly here. 

“We’ll give them the time and we will get the advice of experts and so on and we will follow the protocols and the time they need is what they need. It’s not going day to day basis but it takes time and we would rather get it wrong by giving them more time than giving them less time and that is the way it is. 

“We all want to have them and having them playing but this is a serious matter in terms of the way there is not a lot of knowledge or things that are getting to know at the moment and starting to get known. We just have to listen to the experts and get with what their advice is and sometimes take baby steps, how they introduce themselves into training and so on and it’s a step by step reintegration. 


“It’s like a concussion protocol, the normal protocol, but a bit longer so we assess that there is no further back step and so on but hopefully they are close to getting back to playing. No, we don’t (have a comeback date) and we are assessing them in terms of training. They are increasing their training with the team and so on. Sometimes it is going back to the experts and just getting them signed off and so on.”        


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