Blue Card To Be Rolled Out

This weekend, Auckland Rugby Referees will begin the roll-out of the Blue Card process at the Waka Nathan Pre-Season competition as part of a national safety initiative within New Zealand following a trial by Northland Rugby.

Blue Card - Concussion


Player welfare is NZ Rugby’s priority which is why the Blue Card Concussion Initiative is being implemented.

Concussion can be serious and requires proper rest and management. Referees will issue a Blue Card to players who sustain a head knock during a rugby game and demonstrate symptoms of concussion, in the opinion of the referee.

When issued a Blue Card, the player must leave the field of play and cannot return during the match.

The Blue Card is there to Enhance player safety and welfare and initiate a formal “Return to Play” process for a player who has sustained a concussion or suspected concussion.

It is an “On – Field” process only and can only be issued by a registered / trained referee.


The Blue Card aims to:

  • Enhance player safety and welfare Improve concussion management
  • Support player recovery and long-term health
  • The Blue Card Concussion Initiative extends player welfare protocols
  • It helps everyone in rugby better manage this potentially serious injury
  • It makes it clear to all players and coaching staff of a suspected concussion

Blue Card Overview – Dr Stephen Kara


More information can for referees can be found on our dedicated Blue Card page for referees.

Player Responsibilities

Team Responsibilities

What Happens Next

If you receive a Blue Card, or a member of your team receives one, you should consult the Graduated Return to Play (GRTP) process. The minimum stand-down period is 21 days or 23 days for Under 19s.

Medical consultation should be immediately sought – don’t run it off!

Downloadable Material

More Information


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