A curiosity, as has emerged in the case of Dane Coles, is the last thing rugby needs in its on-going battle to show how seriously it takes concussion.

The war is as much about building awareness and fostering cultures of transparency and honesty to encourage players to admit to any lingering symptoms as it is detecting and diagnosing possible concussions.

New Zealand's professional teams, as in nearly every other aspect of their work, are leading the way in this. Coaches here all take deadly seriously their duty of care.

No one in Super Rugby takes medical risks and the over riding quality driving decisions about when to play is conservatism skewed to the best interests of a player's health.
How far New Zealand has come is commendable.


And so too is their continued determination to stay on top of managing concussion issues and do right by their players.

There was an incident in 2015 when Highlanders prop Josh Hohneck was clearly knocked out and yet played on when he shouldn't have.

There was no dismissing the seriousness of the incident or the mistakes that were made in failing to get him off the field.

No one tried to cover it up or pretend it wasn't an issue and the outcome was an increased investment in sideline technology to help the medics determine the nature of collisions and for communication protocol to be improved to ensure that no one stays quiet if they suspect a player may have suffered a head knock.

The problem with the way things have transpired with Coles, is that it feels like the story hasn't been told the way it perhaps should.

And when information is vague, sketchy and a little inconsistent as it has been, then it leads to all sorts of speculative and alternate theories gathering oxygen.

That would never have been Hurricanes' coach Chris Boyd's intention nor has he done anything but look after his athlete.

But it won't be easy to convince everyone of that fact because the information has dripped out in such a way that it could be interpreted that the Hurricanes haven't been up front about what was going on.

It would unquestionably be unfair to reach that verdict but that's the danger of what's happened here. A knee injury, became a calf injury and then Coles began to feel concussion symptoms as he tried to increase his training load.

It is unfortunate but not as random as it sounds. Nor is it so unusual for players to develop concussion symptoms and yet not be entirely sure when they may have incurred a head knock.

These sorts of medical anomalies are part and parcel of contact sport as played by elite athletes. The problem has been the information flow and the sudden announcement that concussion symptoms are as much the problem as the calf.

When Boyd spoke over the weekend about Coles there was no mention of the concussion symptoms - just the calf not holding up to the load being put through it.

There has been no deliberate cover up or attempt to deceive but with hindsight, perhaps the Hurricanes should have revealed the full extent of Coles' injuries earlier than they have.