Eels fined as NRL tightens concussion rule

The NRL has fined Parramatta $20,000, of which $10,000 has been suspended, over the club’s handling of three suspected concussion incidents.

Announcing the fines, NRL head of football Todd Greenberg said the Eels had acknowledged their process had been flawed in dealing with the cases – one involving hooker Nathan Peats – from their round-three match against the Warriors in Auckland.

Greenberg said no action would be taken against South Sydney after investigation of the much-publicised incident involving halfback Adam Reynolds, who returned to the field to spark their round-two win over the Sydney Roosters.

The NRL also announced moves to tighten the concussion rules and clarify the guidelines for dealing with players suspected of having concussion.

“Under the strengthened rules, if a player falls to the ground without taking protective action or loses consciousness they are not to return to the field,” Greenberg said.

“There will be no need to undergo further assessments and tests the player is to sit out the rest of the match.

“This will take the pressure off club doctors because, if players exhibit these signs it is compulsory that they are removed from the field and do not return.”

Parramatta responded to the sanction with a statement on Wednesday afternoon in which chief executive Scott Seward acknowledged they didn’t follow concussion guidelines to the letter.

“In the process, we also acknowledge that we did not follow one aspect of the code for assessing concussions, and we have already introduced new processes and additional training to ensure that we follow the NRL’s directive to the letter in all instances of possible concussion,” Seward said.

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