The Manly Sea Eagles are taking action to challenge the National Rugby League‘s new concussion rules in order to get star player Tom Trbojevic back on the field for Origin II. Trbojevic, who plays for the NSW Blues, was forced to sit out game one in Adelaide after a head knock from Maroons prop Thomas Flegler in the 68th minute of the match.
NRL regulations dictate that Trbojevic will have to sit out for a minimum of 11 days as part of the standard concussion protocol. This means he may not play for the Manly team again before the Blues announce their team lineup for game two.
However, the Sea Eagles believe that Trbojevic has been misdiagnosed and disagree with the independent doctor’s diagnosis that he suffered a Category 1 head knock. Veteran NSW doctor Nathan Gibbs reportedly diagnosed Trbojevic with a Category 2 knock, and the Sea Eagles‘ club doctor Dr Paul Bloomfield cleared him of any concussion symptoms during an assessment on Friday. If Trbojevic did suffer a Category 2 concussion, he would need to pass a SCAT test before being eligible to play against the Dolphins on June 9.
The NRL has confirmed that the Sea Eagles can challenge the decision to stand down Trbojevic for 11 days, and the League is currently considering the matter. Manly has a bye in the NRL this weekend, but will face The Dolphins at 4Pines Park next Friday – just nine days after Origin I. While the decision to play will ultimately be left up to Trbojevic, the Sea Eagles are hopeful that he will be cleared to play.
Trbojevic is under pressure to retain his spot in the Blues team if he is cleared to play, with Stephen Crichton and Campbell Graham as potential alternatives. Latrell Mitchell, who is expected to make a full recovery from a calf injury, is tipped to play left centre for NSW in the must-win game at Suncorp Stadium.