Penney Says Welfare of His Players Is Paramount

Munster coach New Zealander Rob Penney is so sensitive to the dangers of concussion that he applies a stringent approach to any head injuries suffered by his players – he responds with the level of concern that he would apply if it was one of his sons that was involved.

During his playing days, Penney never saw an obstacle he didn’t believe he could go through if going around it would take too long. He trialled for the All Blacks in 1991, but the competition for the back-row was fierce. Zinzan Brooke was the man in possession of the No 8 jersey and the likes of AJ Whetton, Michael Jones and Mark Carter were also knocking about.

Penney came up in a far less complicated time. Players played when injured all the time and, he will admit, most played while suffering from concussion at least once in their careers. These days he’s far better educated about the long-term effects of head injuries. And far more sensitive to the dangers involved.

“The welfare of the players has to be paramount,” the Munster boss said. “That’s non-negotiable. There is a responsibility of care there and that has to be taken seriously. That’s part of our job as managers of these young men.”

Penney was head coach of Canterbury from 2006 to 2011 and led them to four NPC victories in a row.

Tags: AJ Whetton  All Blacks  Irish Independent  Mark Carter  Michael Jones  Munster  NPC  Rob Penney  Zinzan Brooke  

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