Concussion and supplement reminder for Origin
NRL head of football Todd Greenberg has visited both State of Origin camps to deliver staff a reminder of their new responsibilities in the key areas of concussion and supplements.
Greenberg spoke with NSW support staff on Friday after visiting the Queensland camp earlier in the week to update the Origin staff on the policy changes that have been made since the 2013 series.
He said NRL CEO Dave Smith had been clear last year on the crackdown on punching in State of Origin, and reiterated that this year's concussion rules must also be complied with.
"I think that's been pretty clear in the premiership," Greenberg said.
"Players and staff know their obligations, today was just an opportunity for me to sit with the staff of NSW, as I said I've done it with Queensland, and it's an important thing that the game does. This is a showpiece event for us next Wednesday night so reminding people of obligations and responsibilities is important.
"There will be millions and millions of people watching this game on Wednesday night. People know that it's a great honour to put on a Maroons or a Blues jersey and they've got responsibilities in the game. We take those things very seriously."
On the supplements changes, Greenberg said there were some strong policies that have been implemented and the doctors of the state teams liaising with the club doctors will need to make sure that the supplement register is being complied with. "Which was already happening, it was more a reminder than anything else," Greenberg added.
Blues coach Laurie Daley was supportive of the initiatives and the focus on player welfare.
"The understanding of the concussion rule is very important because the NRL want to protect the welfare of their players, and given it's the biggest stage our game has they're very well aware of a lot of people watching and taking notes," Daley said.
"Our medical staff have been made aware and I think we've got the best medical staff in the game so I'm confident they'll make the right decisions on the night."
Daley said he was happy to have those decisions taken out of his hands.
"All the staff I have, they've told me, regardless of what I want, they'll be making the decisions. And I said that's good because it takes it out of my hands and the responsibility is theirs and that's the way it should be," he said.
He said the players hadn't been involved in the meeting, which was for the benefit of staff, but that he would make them aware at some stage that they have to take the trainer's advice if they are told to leave the field on the night.
"I understand they want to stay out there but it's something we need to get right and address and make sure player safety is paramount. If someone's got a crook shoulder or leg, of course you want them to stay out there and try and fight their way through it but a concussion is slightly different," he said.
"The player's welfare comes first. It's not as if we're talking about a player that's battling away with a knee injury or a shoulder injury. It's a brain issue. The damage that may come in five years time from receiving a knock to the head, no-one really knows."
Daley said the team doctor, Nathan Gibbs, is the best doctor in Australia when it comes to treating sporting injuries and is fully aware of the concussion rule that's now in place.
"One of the initiatives they're doing for the first Origin is having a television box down on the sidelines so if there's something that needs to be reviewed by the doctors they can just walk over to the box and have a look at the injury," he said.
"Sometimes everyone misses what happens so they'll have someone there to show it so the doctor can have a bit of a look to give him a bit more information on what possibly may or may not have happened. That's the first time that's ever happened."