OITA: Wales fly-half Dan Biggar would have been ruled out of the Rugby World Cup quarter-final with France under French concussion rules, Les Bleus coach Jacques Brunel said on Friday.
Brunel was speaking after Biggar was named by Warren Gatland in the Wales side to take on France in Oita on Sunday, having been declared fit after a second head injury at the tournament in Japan.
“Everyone takes their responsibilities,” said Brunel when naming his France side for the last-eight match.
“If it had been the French Top 14, sustaining two concussions automatically means three weeks out with the protocol that is applied there.
“So he wouldn’t have been able to play. That’s all I have to say about that.”
The Welsh Rugby Union had earlier stressed that Biggar was “symptom-free” and had been cleared by an independent expert after passing return-to-play protocols.
The 30-year-old failed a head injury assessment after taking a blow in Wales’s win over Australia on September, but was passed to play against Fiji 10 days later.
However, he suffered a nasty aerial collision with team-mate Liam Williams during the game in Oita and had to leave the field once again.
Wales coach Warren Gatland said Biggar “felt better after the (Fiji) game, it was clear” and the “right people” had been consulted to get him properly scanned and assessed.
“We feel that we’ve gone through that due diligence and making sure we’ve covered all the bases in terms of Dan,” Gatland said.
“He’s obviously done all the protocols and been fit for three or four days in terms of having passed those so we are obviously taking all the proper precautions from our point of view.”
“He’s desperate as a player to play,” Gatland said, adding that the Wales management had previously dealt with multiple-concussion cases, including a 2015 controversy involving winger George North.
“We’ve just got to make sure if it does happen, if he gets a knock in the next few games or the next couple of months, obviously there would probably be a different course of action. But he’s very confident that he’s 100 percent,” Gatland said.
Concussion has become a major issue in several sports including rugby, and prompted a crackdown on high tackles which has resulted in a rash of red cards at the World Cup.