BRIAN O’DISCOLL’S father has expressed his concern over the impact of concussions on the Ireland rugby international, adding that some of the medical decisions made in the game are “outrageous”.
Frank O’Driscoll, a GP, was speaking after Brian suffered at least two concussions in the last two seasons, against France and New Zealand.
He told Ireland’s Mail on Sunday: “Am I worried how Brian will be in 20 years? Absolutely. You only have to go back to boxing and the dementia that has been caused there. The more I read about it, the more logical I find it that this is occurring in rugby. The chemical changes that occur after a bang to the head are absolutely frightening.
“It’s horrible to watch your son be concussed. The time [last season] against France when he talked his way back on to the pitch … that was outrageous, it was nonsense.
“There are vested interests in this, but it is amazing how medically qualified people can make decisions that, in my opinion, are absolutely crazy and, in many cases, totally wrong.
“The good thing about last week’s game against the All Blacks was that Brian was taken off, he was assessed properly and not allowed back on. I agreed 100% with that. Brian did not agree with it [at the time] because he was trying to get back on but the players should have no say whatsoever in it.”
Brian O’Driscoll himself has spoken in recent months about concussion and how his generation of players are guinea pigs for what effects will be seen down the line.
The NFL in the US leads the way in investigating the impact of concussions, and many sports in Ireland and Britain are now trying to improve their concussion protocols.