NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 28: Commentator Phil Gould during the round 7 NRL match between the Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels at McDonald Jones Stadium on April 28, 2019 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Tony Feder/Getty Images)

Former Panthers boss Phil Gould has labelled the NRL’s concussion protocols “oversensitive.”

Gould believes the discussion surrounding Josh Hodgson’s incident in the the preliminary final against the Rabbitohs has been an overreaction.

The league is investigating whether or not Hodgon should’ve been given a concussion test after he copped a knock in Friday night’s clash, with the club trainer deeming he was right to continue without conducting an HIA.

“I think we’ve been way too over sensitive to this whole hysteria around HIA, concussion and that sort of thing,” Gould said on Nine’s 100% Footy.

“I get player welfare and I get the importance of it, but we have totally over reacted to it.

“When they [trainers] say ‘they’ve failed the HIA’, quite often they’ve passed the HIA exam as it is, they’ve passed the on-field test, they run off and pass the other test and the independent doctor comes in and panics and says ‘No, you’re not going back out it was too hard a knock.’

“There’s Hodgson. He’s got a bit of a knock. He said it hurt his jaw, of course it’s going to hurt your jaw. It doesn’t mean you’ve got concussion, it doesn’t mean you’re going to die, it doesn’t mean he needs brain surgery, but everyone is saying we’ve got to get him off.

“In the next five minutes he comes up with four of the biggest plays of the game.”

Gould doubled down on his belief that the NRL are too reactive to one-off incidents.

“This is all about litigation,” he said.

“It’s all about protecting the game down the track, someone coming in with a law suit and saying ‘I’ve got brain damage’.

“Let them do it. Take them on. Because there is no one who plays the game without accepting the risk of what it is.

“If you’re 22 and I say to you: ‘you might have brain damage when you’re 60, do you still want to play?’

“You’d say ‘I’ll sign.”


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