The NRL is looking at the Josh Hodgson HIA controversy.
The NRL is looking at the Josh Hodgson HIA controversy.

NRL continues probe into Hodgson’s concussion test

The NRL may not complete its investigation into the Josh Hodgson HIA controversy until after Sunday's grand final, concedes head of football Graham Annesley.

The league is looking into whether Hodgson should've been taken off for concussion testing after stumbling following an attempted tackle in Friday's preliminary-final win over South Sydney.

"It can take some cases a week or two to finalise that information," Annesley said during his weekly media briefing on Monday.

Replay the 2019 NRL Telstra Premiership Grand Final in full on KAYO SPORTS. Get your 14 day free trial and start streaming instantly >

Hodgson stumbled slightly getting up after attempting to tackle Rabbitohs front- rower Liam Knight early in the contest at GIO Stadium.

Minutes later the Raiders co-captain produced a one-on-one strip that led to the game's opening try, before he also denied the Rabbitohs a certain try soon after with brilliant line defence.

Canberra went on to win by six and advance to the grand final against Sydney Roosters.

Josh Hodgson in action against the Rabbitohs.
Josh Hodgson in action against the Rabbitohs.

Annesley confirmed club doctors had reviewed the incident on the sideline before clearing Hodgson to continue playing.

"The integrity unity contact the clubs concerned and they get statements from doctors and trainers … involved in those decisions," Annesley said.

"And then they get assessed in the fullness of time.

"They've clearly got professional people making medical decisions and it would be quite wrong to jump to any immediate conclusions about those.

"So we have a process that'll be followed.

"And once that process has been completed, then there'll be decisions taken about whether our rules were breached or not."

Hodgson has insisted he was not concussed.

"My jaw was the main thing, head-wise I was fine," he told NRL.com.

" … And you can't get away with that stuff nowadays, there's so many cameras and doctors looking at things and I know myself, I've had a couple of head knocks and you know when you're right and when you're not.

"I was good to go, they came on (the field) and did all the tests and I was absolutely fine."

The last time the NRL revealed clubs were fined for breaking concussion rules was in 2017, when Gold Coast, Newcastle and St George Illawarra were fined a combined $350,000.

It is unclear whether a club has been found guilty since those announcements, with the NRL opting to divulge their findings on a case-by-case basis.

Annesley reiterated that neither the bunker nor match officials can have any input into head injury tests, while clubs must have at least two doctors on game day.

He also rejected putting independent doctors back on the agenda.

"Doctors are people of integrity who have very ethical decisions that they need to make. I would like to suggest to you that all doctors are independent," he said.

"Yes, they might be employed by a club, but they make independent medical decisions based on the information that's available to them.

"I think it would be very unfair for anyone to suggest that doctors would make decisions based on a football team winning or losing a game."