Lions: Biggar is better after HIA

British & Irish Lions coach Robin McBryde has addressed concerns over Dan Biggar’s participation in Saturday’s second Test.Match programme: Boks vs British & Irish Lions (2nd Test)

Biggar, who failed an HIA (head injury assessment) in the first Test has been selected to start again at flyhalf for the Lions. This caused some consternation among fans, with some questioning whether the correct procedure had been followed in clearing Biggar to play.

McBride, however, stuck to reading a prepared letter.

“I am not going to deviate from this letter that I have got here to read out in preparation for a question on this matter. Hopefully there is enough there for you to be satisfied with.”

The statement reads as follows:

“Dan Biggar will complete his graduated return to play today with his final contact session ahead of the match on Saturday. He has been symptom free since his post-match head injury assessment and has remained symptom free throughout the process.

“He has been monitored daily by two consultant sport physicians and has also been reviewed by an independent concussion consultant.

“This process has been successfully utilised to allow for independent verification of the medical management undertaken in all concussion cases during the tour in South Africa to date.

“All players will have an individualised and highly integrated approach to the management with a multitude of factors being taken into consideration. Our players’ health remains the absolute priority and we continue to deliver the highest level of care independent of any match regardless of its importance.”

A popular Twitter account, ‘Progressive Rugby’, had issued a statement earlier this week questioning whether the safety of the players was being correctly observed.

The tweet read:

“As British and Irish Lions fans, Progressive Rugby want world-class players like Dan Biggar on the pitch against South Africa. However, the welfare of any player has to come first irrespective of their value to the team or situation.

“This was the fifth concussion we are aware of that Biggar has suffered in less than 2 years. Given the increased risk that brings of further concussive episodes, and that he still has to pass the current return to play protocol, we hope the final decision is based on a highly specialised neurological examination from an independent consultant.”

The Lions coaches will hope that this matter is now put to bed and that Biggar is given the appropriate medical clearance.