RUGBY BLEAGUE: BRL president Mike Ireland said there's no ifs or buts when it comes to head, neck or back injuries. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
RUGBY BLEAGUE: BRL president Mike Ireland said there's no ifs or buts when it comes to head, neck or back injuries. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott BUN270116NRL1

How Bundy Rugby League is protecting players' safety

RUGBY LEAGUE: The president of the Bundaberg Rugby League has reassured the community the safety of players is paramount in the wake of this week's revelation former Bulldogs legend Steve Folkes had been diagnosed with Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Folkes' family spoke out on the weekend after the former player and coach was revealed as one of two former players who suffered from CTE, which is a brain condition associated with repeated head knocks and can only be diagnosed after someone has died.

The NewsMail contacted the Bundaberg Rugby League to find out what measures are in place for local players, particularly those who take a knock to the head during a game.

Bundaberg Rugby League president Mike Ireland said the code had procedures in place that weren't to be deviated from for dealing with head, back and neck injuries to players.

Ireland said a Leaguesafe person played a key safety role at games.

A Leaguesafe person must complete a safety awareness course and understand the safety principles to ensure players receive the best care in the event of an injury. 

"The Bundaberg Rugby League do have a program in place,” Ireland said.

"If the well trained Leaguesafe makes a decision a player with a head back or neck injury has to come off the field, he or she is not allowed to play again until they get a written clearance from a doctor,” Ireland said.

"The Leaguesafe person makes that decision not the player, we are very strict on this.

"There is no ifs or buts about this.”