Rugby Canada leads in concussion prevention, management and education as organization prepares to mark Rowan’s Law Day

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September 26, 2022 (Langford, BC) – As Rowan’s Law Day approaches, Rugby Canada is proud to be taking the lead among the country’s National Sports Organizations in concussion prevention, management and education.

September 26, 2022 (Langford, BC) – As Rowan’s Law Day approaches, Rugby Canada is proud to be taking the lead among the country’s National Sports Organizations in concussion prevention, management and education.

Passed in 2018 by the Ontario Government, Rowan’s Law is named in honour of Rowan Stringer, who died tragically in 2013 of Second Impact Syndrome having suffered multiple concussions within a short space of time whilst playing rugby.

To prevent a similar tragedy from ever happening again, all matches played under the jurisdiction of Rugby Canada and the country’s Provincial Unions must comply with Rugby Canada Concussion Guidelines and World Rugby’s Recognize and Remove protocols.

Additionally, with Rugby Canada’s support, Rugby Ontario recently introduced a Blue Card Program for the 2022 season, whereby a process is initiated by a coach, player or match official during a game to identify an individual who needs removal from the field of play due to a suspected concussion. Rugby Canada is also working closely with the University of Toronto to review the initial implementation of the Blue Card Program through the lens of match officials. Rugby Canada's registration partner, SportLoMo, worked to adapt the system to ensure athletes received the most up to date information in an automated and effective manor. 

The Blue Card Program is happening concurrently with research being conducted by the SHRed Concussions team from the University of Calgary Faculty of Kinesiology’s Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre (SIPRC), in partnership with Rugby Canada, focused on the prevention of concussions and injuries in female youth rugby.


“We, as a National Sports Organization, are extremely proud of the work being done in rugby in Canada around concussion prevention, management and education,” said Paul Hunter, Senior Director of Community Rugby and Development for Rugby Canada. “World Rugby’s Recognize and Remove protocols, the successful implementation of Rugby Ontario’s Blue Card Program, Rugby Canada’s partnership with the University of Toronto to conduct research with match officials and concussion management and our work with the University of Calgary to research the impact of concussions in female youth rugby will be vital in bettering our game and creating safe spaces for everyone.”

He added: “Our ultimate goal is to prevent injury from concussion and provide education so that everyone involved in our sport recognizes their responsibility on and off the field as it related to concussion identification and management.”

Rowan’s Law Day will take place on Wednesday, September 28 and, as such, Rugby Canada’s channels will be dedicated to raising awareness of Rowan’s Law and the work being done around concussion prevention, management and education in the sport. If you wish to commemorate Rowan’s Law Day, you are encouraged to wear purple this Wednesday.

Rugby Canada also urges you to become familiar with the below resources which provide education around concussion identification and management:

Recognize and Remove
Concussion Management for the General Public
Rugby Canada PlaySmart

About Rugby Canada
Rugby Canada is the national governing body of the sport of Rugby Union in Canada. They administer and operate Men’s and Women’s Senior and Junior National programs in both rugby 15s and 7s, as well as govern the Club and community game for more than 30,000 registered participants from coast to coast in conjunction with ten Provincial Union members.

Rugby Canada is headquartered at the Al Charron National Training Centre in Langford, BC, residing on the unceded territories of the Coast Salish and Lekwungen/Songhees peoples, with staff also working from Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. Rugby Canada business operations, programs and events are delivered nationwide, including the internationally recognized HSBC Canada Sevens annual tournaments.