12 Dec, 14:42
Prop Cian Healy is expected to miss the start of the 2014 RBS 6 Nations after undergoing surgery on his injured ankle on Wednesday.
Crucially, a central focus of the event will be injury prevention and player welfare best practice.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "The welfare of players at all levels of the game is of critical importance to the IRB and its 117 member Unions.
"The expanded IRB Medical Conference programme reflects the continued commitment within the global rugby family to 'putting players first'.
"Collectively, a lot has already been achieved. We now have a universal system of injury reporting and expert medical groups have devised policy on key areas, including concussion management, cardiac screening and training and education best practice. But more can be done.
"The outcomes from the Conference must, and will, drive policy making and the continued dissemination of information to those playing, coaching and officiating the game."
He added: "The inaugural IRB Medical Conference in 2009 provided an excellent first step in a new integrated approach for Unions to share information and discuss global medical issues.
"We are committed to ensuring that this year's Conference will be a catalyst for enhanced player welfare practices from grass roots to the elite level."
Following the success of the inaugural Medical Conference, which delivered a suite of player welfare and medical recommendations, the event has been extended to three days to accommodate an expanded programme of expert presentations, group discussions and policy recommendations.
Keynote speakers during the three-day event include former Ireland team doctor Gary O'Driscoll, who works now for Arsenal FC, Scotland and British & Irish Lions doctor James Robson, Professor Bill McKenna from UCL partners and former Scotland international Thom Evans.
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