World Rugby has launched a new concussion App, an easy-to-use tool for players, coaches, doctors, match officials, parents and fans to educate themselves about concussion.
Currently available in three languages, the App provides medically-approved information on everything from recognising the symptoms of concussion to return to play through interactive video content.
With Rugby World Cup 2015 delivering an unprecedented platform to educate on concussion risks and responsibilities, World Rugby is urging the global rugby family to #RecogniseAndRemove, download the App, complete the education module and challenge a friend on social media to do the same.
The World Rugby concussion education App can be downloaded via the iTunes App Store.
World Rugby Chief Medical Officer Martin Raftery said: "Player welfare is World Rugby's number one priority and education underpins our evidence-based approach to protecting players at all levels of the sport.
"Concussion is a very real and very serious matter that affects all sports and indeed walks of life. Our message to everyone is very simple – recognise the symptoms and remove any player with visible or suspected symptoms. We all have a responsibility and duty of care to educate ourselves and educate all involved in rugby, whether you are a player, coach, parent or fan.
"We urge everyone to accept the challenge, download, get educated, complete the interactive education quiz within the App and encourage a friend, family member or team-mate to do the same using the #RecogniseAndRemove call to action. Together we can change culture.”
Concussion affects all sports and is a major focus area for World Rugby and its member unions. World Rugby takes a bottom-up approach to education, prevention and management, collaborating with its unions and a body of expert independent advisors to deliver policies and programmes to support the game.
Education sits at the top of World Rugby and its unions' commitment to changing culture when it comes to taking concussion seriously at all levels of the game. The App will feature alongside mandatory player, coach and medic education at World Rugby tournaments and complements education programmes delivered by individual unions on an on-going basis.
Research-based advances in on-field assessment of head injuries, including the use of Hawk-Eye technology, and graduated return to play protocols are benefiting the elite game, while at community level promotion of correct playing techniques and longer rest periods for youths is also supporting players. All of this is underpinned by research and guidance by a panel of field-leading independent experts.
Japan full-back and Rugby World Cup 2015 star Ayumu Goromaru is one of a number of top level players supporting the education campaign: "Concussion education is paramount in a contact sport and it is great to see rugby leading the way. I encourage everyone in the sport from community and school level to the top level of the game to download the App, get educated, #RecogniseAndRemove and encourage others to do the same.”
The app launch reflects World Rugby's ongoing commitment to concussion education following the publication in 2014 of public guidance materials, developed by its independent concussion advisory group (materials adopted by other sports and the cross-sport approach in Scotland) and #RecogniseAndRemove education delivered to more than 250,000 players, coaches, match officials, medics and members of the public worldwide.