Coming to Border’s aid

SA Rugby have sent out a task team to investigate the tragic death of a rugby player in the Border region.

Lihle Ntsepe, 24, died during an Easter rugby tournament in King William’s Town as little or no medical advice was at hand. The task team, that included Clint Redhead (SA Rugby’s medical manager), Mahlubi Puzi (SA Rugby’s Manager of Game Development), Dr Wayne Viljoen (BokSmart National Rugby Safety Programme Project Manager) and Gail Ross (Chris Burger/Petro Jackson Players’ Fund General Manager), held a workshop to ensure the tragedy isn’t repeated.

‘We identified that little, if any, medical assistance was available at the majority of matches played in the Border region,’ said Redhead. ‘In addition, almost none of the tournaments had an emergency action plan in place while very few clubs had access to basic emergency medical equipment such as spinal boards and neck collars.’

Dr Viljoen said the emphasis was on preventing such injuries in future.

‘This is the first of many of these type of workshops to ensure the game within the region becomes safer,’ said Viljoen. ‘We want to develop potentially sustainable solutions, but in the meantime, if practical solutions are followed, it should have a significant impact on the management of such injuries.’