All 500 players, coaches and match officials participating at the 2014 IRB Junior World Championship in New Zealand have been given concussion education as the rugby community is told to #RecogniseAndRemove.
Education is at the centre of the IRB's commitment to protecting players at all levels of the game and for the class of 2014, the programme is in addition to mandatory anti-doping and integrity education undertaken by the world's top Under-20 players.
IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: "The players at the IRB Junior World Championship are the future stars of the game on and off the field and they will become role models to millions of players and fans around the world.
"Education underpins our mission to change culture and the IRB's message to rugby players at all levels is simple - concussion is serious and players, coaches, medics and parents have a duty to recognise the symptoms of concussion and permanently remove any player displaying them. If in doubt, sit them out.
"We are delighted by the overwhelmingly enthusiastic response and pleased that so many players will become champions of the #RecogniseAndRemove message."
England Under-20 head coach Nick Walshe added: "Having the correct protocols in place is crucial - the training we had was incredibly useful for our guys, as it demonstrates that their welfare is paramount."
Junior Springboks' boss Dawie Theron said: "Player welfare is vital and the protocol training our boys have received is not only important in respect of their awareness but also hugely beneficial for them and the team."
Education sits at the top of the IRB and its Unions' commitment to changing culture when it comes to taking concussion seriously at all levels of the game. The JWC education supplements education programmes delivered by individual Unions on an on-going basis.
Research-based advances in on-field assessment of head injuries and graduated return to play protocols are benefiting the elite game, while at community level promotion of correct playing techniques and longer rest periods for youths is also supporting players. All of this is underpinned by research and guidance by a panel of field-leading independent experts.
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