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NSW back-rower Boyd Cordner.

The NRL has handed the NSW Rugby League a formal warning over the handling of Boyd Cordner’s head knock in the opening match of the 2020 State of Origin series.

The warning was issued for “failing to follow the game’s policy for managing potential head injuries”.

The NRL determined Cordner should not have been allowed to return to the field after sustaining a head knock in the 18th minute of play.  

Under the NRL’s Operations Manual, players who exhibit symptoms such as motor incoordination must be classified as a Category One injury and not be permitted to return to the field, regardless of the outcome of the SCAT Assessment.

The NRL acknowledged the professionalism of all medical staff involved in the game, and took into account the subjective nature in classifying some symptoms before making a finding.

NRL Chief Executive Andrew Abdo said: “In our view Boyd should not have been allowed to return to the field. Our Chief Medical Officer spoke directly with both NSW and Queensland medical staff prior to Wednesday night’s game and reminded them of our high expectations in this area.”

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