The International Rugby Board has announced programme details for the 2011 IRB Medical Conference, which will be held in London from November 20-22.
Under the central theme of Putting Players First, the conference aims to tackle player welfare issues facing the Game at both elite and community levels. The central focus of the event will be injury prevention and player welfare best practice on and off the field.
The conference will bring together physicians from 30 Member Unions, independent medical experts and playing representatives to consider the latest research and statistics, drive global best-practice policy implementation and dissemination and discuss player welfare matters at all levels of the Game.
Over the three days, delegates will consider concussion protocol education, the role of the match day doctor, cardiac screening of players and GPS as a tool for injury prevention. A course in the introduction of immediate care in sport on day one of the conference will introduce participants to the latest best practice in tackling key on-field medical situations.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The welfare of players at all levels of the Game is of critical importance to the IRB and its 117 Member Unions and this year’s comprehensive programme reflects the continued commitment within the global Rugby family to Putting Players First.
“Collectively we have achieved a great deal of progress since the inception of the annual conference and now have a structure that allows us to continually critique the Game and deliver policies to enhance medical and player welfare practice globally. A highlight of 2011 has been the delivery of new guidelines for the diagnosis and management of concussion and return-to-play protocols that will benefit all levels of the Game.
“However, we must always strive to do more. Rugby is continually reaching out to new participants and the outcomes from this conference must drive policy making and the continued dissemination of information to those playing, coaching and officiating the Game around the world."
IRB Chief Medical Officer Dr Martin Raftery said: “It is important that the Game collectively and regularly takes stock to consider the latest trends, issues and medical best practice. There is commitment from all our Unions to work together to ensure that we continue to develop and promote the very best structures and practices that appropriately serve Rugby at all levels.”