Following incorrect media speculation on the management of the injury to Queensland Reds player Connor Vest Super Rugby Pacific has issued the following statement:
Super Rugby Pacific has concluded a review of the incident involving an injury to Connor Vest of the Reds during the weekends match [Friday 26 May] between the Highlanders and Reds at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin. Vest was injured during a tackle in the 28th minute of the match.
The review has found that at no stage did the Match Referee, Brendon Pickerill, attempt to hurry the review of the injury or the removal of the Player from the field.
The comments attributed to Harry Wilson of the Reds in the media are factually incorrect and whilst they may have been well intending in support of a teammate, he has been issued with a reminder that care must be taken with public comments not to impair the public confidence in the integrity of match officials.
Super Rugby Pacific Match Officials will always provide sufficient time for the treatment of injuries in consultation with Team and Match Day Medical staff to ensure that the appropriate level of care is able to be provided on any occasion. In regards to this incident, at no time was the referee made aware of the seriousness of the players injury or the need for more time or precautions.
The Incident was also reviewed post match by the independent Citing Commissioner who found no foul play had occurred by the tacklers.
The Tournament encourages players and coaches to have strong opinions however respect for match officials is a sacrosanct core value of the game and one which we take an unapologetic stance to protect.