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Rugby death teen had brain injury history

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 8/11/2016

Jordan Kemp © Facebook/All Blacks Jordan Kemp The Coroner's findings have been released about the teenage rugby player who died from injuries sustained during a match in Whangarei July 2014.

Jordan Kemp, 17, an Otamatea Hawks player, died in Auckland City Hospital after he was injured during a senior club rugby game.

Coroner Brandt Shortland said Mr Kemp had a history of head injuries.

Of note was a serious one that occurred just months before, in March.

The report says he had had a re-bleed of March's injury in July.

"There are many times in a game where players will suffer bangs and whacks to the head when making a wrong tackle, and when competing for the ball. More often than not, the player will get up and carry on and shake off whatever the feeling is at the time," Coroner Shortland said.

"In Jordan's case, he suffered a catastrophic brain injury from the collision which effectively aggravated the previous head injury he sustained in March."

Mr Kemp was admitted to hospital in March for the injury, but was released soon after as hospital staff did not have a record of another brain injury he'd received as a young boy in 1997.

His death prompted debate around how head injuries are managed in rugby.

New Zealand Rugby implemented courses soon after Mr Kemp's death, where coaches and referees were supplied with a checklist to assess players suspected of having a concussion.

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