Blue card to be introduced in 2018

by Sam Phillips

Blue cards will be introduced to the NRC and Aon Uni 7s in 2018, following in the footsteps of of country rugby clubs.

The move will allow referees to show players a blue card should they display signs of concussion on field, making the game safer for all involved.

The blue card has been rolled out in Newcastle, the Hunter Valley, ACT and parts of Sydney, with trials to date proving successful.

Players will be forced to pass a head injury assessment and spend time on the sidelines before being allowed back on field.

"Country Rugby clubs have paved the way to make the game safer for everyone and soon our elite Super Rugby athletes will be following this protocol and setting the standards world-wide," ARU Head of Community Rugby Services Lachlan Clark said.

"Australian rugby will also assist in educating coaches, first aid personnel and match officials as well as provide a competition management system which logs all concussion cases."Nick Tooth tragically passed away playing for the Qurindi Lions in 2015. Photo: SuppliedThe introduction is backed by the Tooth family, who lost Nick to a head injury while playing for the Qurindi Lions in 2015.

The Tooth family will raise finds for a world-first sport concussion management program and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter at the Nick Tooth Tens Tournament on October 7.

"This will be the first time the blue card has been used at the Nick Tooth Tens Tournament and while we hope it doesn’t need to be used on the day, we’re glad there are now extra measures in place to make the game safer," Alexandra Tooth, Nick's sister, said.

The games will kick off at the Quirindi Rugby Club in NSW's north west on October 7 at 9am.

Tickets can be purchased here.