Clermont Auvergne scrum-half Morgan Parra was “correctly permitted to return to field of play”, despite referee Ben Whitehouse saying he was “unconscious”, according to the game’s governing body, writes Stephen Barry.
The Champions Cup clash courted controversy when the French international was reintroduced eight minutes after taking a knee to the side of the head from Northampton’s Luther Burrell.
Referee Whitehouse was heard on TV coverage saying Parra was knocked out and stopped the play for him to receive treatment.
On BT Sport commentary, Ben Kay said: “The referee said he was unconscious, he’s not allowed to come back on to the field. The referee has the power to say he cannot continue.”
However, European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) have said an independent review, managed by UK-based company Alligin Performance, and carried out by Dr Mike Rossiter and Dr David Jones, vindicates the Clermont medical team’s decision to allow Parra return to the field.
In a statement, the EPCR said: “An initial Head Injury Assessment (HIA) revealed no loss of consciousness on the part of the player”.
It continued: “While an audible comment from match referee, Ben Whitehouse, at the time of the event may have led to some confusion, Alligin Performance commended the official as he clearly stopped the match out of concern for the player’s welfare.”