All Blacks coach Steve Hansen approved of World Rugby’s decision to amend their HIA law after confusion around flank Sam Cane in the win over the Springboks.
Cane went off for a Head Impact Assesment during half-time in the Pool B opener in Yokohama, but was unable to return to the field in the second half despite passing the test.
Match officials determined that Cane had spent too much time off the field and therefore did not allow him to come back on. World Rugby regulations state that a player must be replaced if they cannot return from an HIA after 10 minutes or directly following the half-time interval.
The All Blacks stated that Cane was unable to return due to the distance he had to walk from the medical room to the field in the Yokohama Stadium.
World Rugby stressed that correct protocol was followed on Saturday but amended the regulations to only start timing the HIA once the player has reached the testing room.
‘It wasn’t through any fault of his that the test took longer than it should have,’ Hansen said after the game. ‘It only took as long as it needed to take but it wasn’t anything we could control.
‘So, I think they have worked out it isn’t common sense is it? We are here to look after the athlete and so they have modified.’
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