Concussion Care

What we’re going to do:

  1. Ensure concussion is a prominent part of our annual RugbySmart courses.
  2. Financially assist players and families with payment of medical bills relating to concussion.
  3. Provide follow up support and guidance to concussed players around the graduated return to play guidelines.
  4. Be the conduit for New Zealand Rugby and District Health Board resources


We want to ensure that anyone involved in rugby –  players, coaches, refs and family – know what to look out for and what to do when they suspect a player has sustained a concussion.

We all have a role to play in recognizing, removing and helping to manage concussions. For more info around Concussion in rugby, visit:

BLUE CARD – What does this mean?

The purpose of the Blue Card Initiative is to enable referees to remove players from a match if they are suspected of sustaining a concussion. However, it is important to remember that regardless of whether a concussion is Blue Carded or not, that player is required to complete the minimum stand down period and follow the Graduated Return to Play.

As a minimum, we will cover the cost for all blued carded and concussed players’ medical clearance examinations. Players need to keep their receipts, so they can be reimbursed and get in touch with us around this.


During this stand down period players must complete the Graduated Return to Learn/Work and the Return to Play (GRTP) program. These programs are based on international best practice with the goal of helping players recover and get back to school/work and sport.

An athlete should not go back to sports until they are back to school or work without symptoms getting significantly worse and no longer needing any changes in their schedule.

Rehabilitation Stage Exercise At Each Stage Of Rehabilitation Objective Or Stage Under 19 19 Or Older
1. Rest/No Activity Mental and physical rest Rest. Avoid any activity that makes your symptoms worse. You may have to avoid screens 2 days 2 days
2. Light Aerobic Exercise Symptom-guided, low to moderate intensity activity such as walking, or stationary cycling Increase heart rate 14 days 14 days
3. Rugby-Specific exercise Running drills, no impact activities Add movement  2 days 1 day
4. Non-Contact Training Drills Progression to move complex training drills: passing, catching, may start doing weight training Exercise, coordination and mental load 2 days 1 day
5. Following Medical Clearance Full Contact Practice May participate in normal training activities (contact training) Restore confidence and assess function skills by coaching staff  2 days 2 days
6. After 24 Hrs Return To Play Player rehabilitated recover 1 day 1 day
Total  23 days  21 days