Grant Mayer will rule Liam Fulton out if needed

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Grant Mayer will rule Liam Fulton out if needed

Post by willow » Sun 23 Mar, 2014 1:48 pm

Grant Mayer will rule Liam Fulton out if needed
March 22, 2014 - 11:26PM
Daniel Lane
Sports reporter & Video journalist

Wests Tigers chief executive Grant Mayer said he'd have no problem overruling coach Mick Potter and resting Liam Fulton after the back-rower was concussed for the second time in three weeks on Friday night.

Mayer said the newly created discretionary powers may be invoked if the club's doctor expresses any concern about Fulton playing.

Under sweeping changes to the treatment of injuries, club doctors must report to their chief executives, and not the coach, to reveal the extent of head knocks and other serious injuries as part of the code's emphasis on duty of care.

Fulton, who was the first NRL player to be stood down from playing as part of the code's focus on combating concussions due to fears about the long-term health of the players' brains, was "spoken to" by club officials after he told the media during the week he'd accepted dementia could be the long-term legacy of his career after he'd suffered numerous head knocks during his 160-plus top-grade games.

He was rested from the round two victory over the Gold Coast when he was stretchered from the field knocked cold and went off with his neck in a brace in the season opener against St George-Illawarra. On Friday, Fulton was forced from the play during the heroic victory over Souths and he could be spelled again.

There is no indication Potter would not share Mayer's view.

Mayer told Fairfax Media the doctor's report would determine whether he played against the New Zealand Warriors as he revealed NRL chief executives now had the power to rule players out on health grounds.

"The beauty about the change in the rules and regulations is the doctor reports to the CEO, being me, and not the coach anymore," he said.

"If the doctor reports to me on Monday that he doesn't believe any player is up for selection due to a head knock then I rule him out - and I take that role and responsibility very seriously."

Mayer said whether Fulton played against the Warriors this week was dependent on the result of the tests he'd undergo. He warned despite the forward's importance to the team he'd put Fulton's health first.

"Once we confer on Monday with the medical staff regarding [Fulton's] long-term health and, obviously, his current state of affair, we'll make the same call [to stand him down from playing] if we have to," said Mayer. "We're not scared of it.

"If anyone tries to tell me that after three weeks he was the only player [in the NRL] who'd suffered a serious head knock I'd raise my eyebrows. The reality is we are the only club who has chosen to stand down a player. The responsibility my medical staff has taken has been second to none, and I'll defend that [call] every day of the week.

"I'm absolutely sure the club would make exactly the same decision again, going forward, if we believed any player's health was at risk."

Mayer said 29-year-old Fulton, a noted prankster, was taken aside for being flippant with the media when he said during the week about the concussion rule: "I've been knocked out that many times if I'm going to get dementia I'm going to get it, it's just what it is".

NRL club doctors have been granted more prominence in light of a number of issues including concussions and ASADA investigation into the use of banned supplements at Cronulla in 2011. Mayer confirmed the doctors were also required to attend four board meetings a year to present how their club was operating from a medical perspective.

"It's a good thing because we have to look into the eyes of the family and friends of the player and say whether they're well and that we're looking after them," said Mayer of the medical reforms.

"The reality is if we were to leave it up to players to make the decision whether they play or don't play going forward then the game would need to look at itself. We made a very, very quick and decisive call about [Fulton] playing after round one and pulled him out on the Monday. We'd have no fear doing that [again]."

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Post by GNR4LIFE » Sun 23 Mar, 2014 1:52 pm

You just leave that to the medical staff, the people who get payed to worry about that and do what your paid to do and re-sign Tedesco

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