Home International Rugby Wayne Pivac selects Tomas Francis for Wales.

Wayne Pivac selects Tomas Francis for Wales.

by Saba Gulmagarashvili

Wales head coach Wayne Pivac has defended his decision to start Tomas Francis in Friday’s Six Nations match against France in Cardiff.

After taking a head knock against England, Pivac claims the prop has been cleared by an independent concussion expert.

Professor John Fairclough, a leading clinician, believes Wales’ choice of Francis would be “a horrible mistake.”

Wayne Pivac set to give Wales more exciting style of Six Nations play | Wales rugby union team | The Guardian

Pivac Stated:

“We’ve got a very experienced medical team who we think are world-class and experts in their field,” 

In the 20th minute of the 23-19 loss against England at Twickenham, Ospreys front row Francis collided with Owen Watkin.

The 29-year-old was taken off the field for a head injury examination, which he passed, before returning to the game and playing until the 56th minute.

Wales went to great measures to ensure Francis is fit to play, according to Pivac, including hiring a prominent concussion doctor to evaluate the former Exeter player.

“Both Josh and Tomas have been seen by our medical team after the game, the follow-up protocols and return-to-play guidelines set by World Rugby have been followed closely,”

“At each stage of those processes, they’ve come through fine. We’ve gone the extra mile with Tomas and got an independent concussion specialist involved.

“He’s got the history of the player and also had a look at the footage from the match. He’s been taken through the protocols which we’ve followed, which are World Rugby’s protocols.”

“He’s supportive the player is clear to be selected. On that basis, and in consultation with the player, we’ve decided to select him.”

“People express their views and they’re entitled to do that,”

“Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the experts dealing with it on the ground are doing so on a daily basis and are experts in concussion.”

“We’ve got to stay focused on what we’re dealing with and that’s players’ safety

“We go through the stringent protocols we know we have to go through. We’ve got an experienced medical team and getting the independent person in on top of that, it shows how serious we are.”

“The player is part of the consultation process all the way through. I don’t think any player enjoys being in the spotlight for these sorts of things. He’s working hard, head down and backside up. In his mind, he’s good to go.”

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