Newcastle Knights legend Andrew Johns has pleaded for rugby league pundits to “shut their mouths” as debate rages on Boyd Cordner’s concussion difficulties.
During State of Origin I at Adelaide Oval, Cordner was assisted off the ground by trainers after copping a head knock while attempting a tackle on Queensland’s Felise Kaufusi.
The New South Wales skipper was controversially allowed back onto the field 15 minutes later after passing a Head Injury Assessment (HIA) test.
It was latest in a long list of concussions scares the edge forward has suffered in 2020 — he missed six consecutive weeks of the NRL regular season after a particularly nasty incident in round 10.
On Friday, Cordner ruled himself out for the remainder of the 2020 State of Origin series as a precautionary measure.
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Although several fans questioned whether the 28-year-old should have returned to the field on Wednesday evening, Johns has defiantly defended the Blues medical staff.
“I wish all the people who have no idea of what’s going on behind the scenes medically with NSW and the Roosters, would just shut their mouths; it just drives me mental,” Johns told Wide World of Sports.
“Nathan Gibbs, he’s been a doctor in rugby league for around 30 years, and for people to question his integrity. They just need to shut their mouths.
“Also with the Roosters and their medical staff, they’ve been the leader in the NRL. They’ve rested players longer than any other club with their players’ concussions. If you don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes, shut up.”
Boyd Cordner of the Blues.Source:Getty Images
New South Wales coach Brad Fittler refused to speculate about Cordner’s condition, but supported the captain’s decision.
“I’m not a doctor. I am a good friend and a coach but there are other people who make those decisions,” Fittler said on Saturday.
“Boyd is part of that decision making. We trust him.”
Sydney’s ANZ Stadium will host Game II of the Origin series on Wednesday, with superstar fullback James Tedesco set to captain the Blues.
“(Cordner) said he feels all right, he feels good. He just needs a break. He’s had a pretty tough year and a few setbacks,” Tedesco said.
“He’s such a leader for us, and such a good all-round player.
“It’s been a hard year for him with a lot of hard knocks.
“I just hope he has a good rest now and gets right for next year because he’s had a few issues and his health is No. 1 priority at the moment.”
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