Daughter of NRL’s first CTE case ‘shocked’ by handling of Cordner

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The daughter of the late Steve Folkes says she was "shocked" that Boyd Cordner was permitted to return to the field after suffering his latest concussion and claims the incident suggests the culture surrounding head knocks hasn’t changed enough.

Cordner’s career is at a crossroads after taking a break from the game to recover from the latest blow. The NRL determined the Blues skipper should not have been allowed to return in game one after suffering a "category 1 ataxia", in which a loss of co-ordination and/or muscle control is evident.

Boyd Cordner is helped from the field after suffering another head knock during game one of the Origin series.Credit:Getty

"I was shocked," Folkes-Shaw told The Sun-Herald. "I thought the protocols were in place to stop that from happening. That took them a few steps back in terms of the perception of what they're doing to protect the players, for sure.

"In dad's era, it was a badge of honour to go back on after a head knock. I was really hoping that in this era, with everything about dad and some others in rugby league and AFL, that the culture might have changed a little bit around needing to get up and go back on.

"I'm not sure it has [changed] as much as I'd hoped it had.

"I still hope that at that coaching and club level and with the players themselves, they are a bit more aware of the consequences of it and look after themselves a bit more."

Cordner’s decision to stand down from the interstate series was his own and was made after he consulted those close to him. Folkes-Shaw said "I'm surprised it's not taken out of their hands a little bit more", but praised the NSW captain for putting his welfare first.

"Absolutely. It's good for other players as well, given his standing in the game," she said.

"They are important matches and the fact that he has done that definitely should be spoken about more. We should shine a spotlight on why he made those calls and what advice he has been given to make those calls.

"After the season he's had, maybe he should have taken a bit more time off.

"I don't know the specifics of his case, but it looks like he had a big season in terms of [concussions]. Maybe he should have ruled himself out earlier but, absolutely, it's better that he's done it now than not."

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