Faingaa confident in concussion protocols

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Queensland Reds centre Anthony Faingaa has praised Rugby’s attitude to concussion after his enforced layoff from Rugby.

Faingaa was suffering concussion symptoms more than a fortnight after a head knock against the Sharks in May last year, before a foot injury stretched his absence out to nine months.

Almost a year on from that knock, the 29-year-old is confident he has overcome any danger.

“We’ve got match day doctors and if they feel there’s got any kind of symptom or any kind of tackle, you get dragged from the field and all  the rest of it,” he said.

“The ARU and [World Rugby] are doing everything in their power to control this concussion issue whether it be concussion testing or through concussion protocol,” he said.

It’s not the first time Faingaa has had concussion concerns and he admits it’s a risk that comes with his tackling approach.

“For me, as a player, I’ve just got to make sure i don’t get my head in the wrong place,” he said.

“I know I lead with my head in most tackles so probably don't have the best tackling technique but I do whatever it takes to stop the guys from running

“I think the protocols around concussion testing and what’s being done off the field is really good.”

A number of players, particularly in the AFL, have called time on their careers due to concussion, most recently Brisbane Lions defender Justin Clarke, who retired at just 22 still suffering symptoms from a preseason head knock.

Faingaa used his nine-month layoff with a foot injury to progress in his studies, working towards an MBA, and said he was feeling better than ever on his return.

The Reds are one of just two Aussie teams playing this weekend, coming off a bye, when they take on the Highlanders in Brisbane.

Not every Reds squad member was resting up during the bye, with their next generation on show in the Super U20s final.

The Reds U20s capped an undefeated tournament off with a 35-5 win against the Rebels at Ballymore.

Faingaa said it was reward for the hard work the players put in, regularly facing off with the senior squad in training.

“They go under the radar but they help us and the main squad here quite a lot,” he said.

“They do a lot of work with us and it’s really good to see some of the success they've had on the back of working so hard.”

“As an organisation we have great 20s, a very good feeder squad.  The Reds are doing really sensational things off field to make sure we have a really sustainable future for this place.”