The issues of concussion in contact sports is one that's getting a lot more attention these days, thanks to a growing awareness of the long-term damage done by the injury.

However, despite that, there have been countless instances, even a few just this season already in the Premier League, that have shown that there seems to be a perception that admitting to being concussed or not playing on is some sort of slight on your manhood. 

For the RFU in England, their approach to tackling the problem looks to be based on equipping players with the necessary knowledge to help them understand concussion better. The RFU, Premiership Rugby and the Rugby Players Association unveiled plans to introduce a new, mandatory online concussion awareness course that will have to be completed by "all registered professional players, coaches and referees within a two-month period", according to Sky Sports News

This is obviously a big step forward, and, given that rugby players are in the firing line when it comes to concussion, it's something that other sporting organisations may well attempt to learn from and follow. 

In particular, football's governing bodies are under increasing pressure to recognise that the game has a problem with concussion, and the NFL also recently settled a major lawsuit with former players, and are also looking for a way to improve their handling of the issue. 

The RFU announced that there will be sanctions for not completing the online course, including automatic fines, as well as the the threat that "we have the ability to make a player or coach ineligible to play or coach until such time as they have completed" the course, which would be a big move. They also announced that there would be an independent review of the on-field management of confirmed and suspected concussion cases, which is something that has been touted in other sports too.

The question remains as to whether or not other sporting organisations will follow suit, but it's at least a step in the right direction. 

Via Sky Sports News. Main pic via Peter Dean/Flickr