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The 2013 USA Rugby Sports Medicine Symposium is Thursday Feb. 7th and Friday Feb. 8th at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. The unique gathering  of medical professionals is intended for anyone in charge of rugby player welfare in the United States, including doctors, athletic trainers, physios, chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists.

Highlights of the symposium are expected to be a Thursday night dedicated entirely to head injuries and concussions, key note speaker Lyle Micheli (Director of the Division of Sports Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital and Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School), and live surgical demonstrations on actual cadavers.

The symposium will focus largely on player welfare, a hot button topic throughout all American sports.

“Player welfare’s such a big topic always, and unfortunately we never really talk about it until there’s a tragedy,” said USA Rugby Medical Coordinator Michael Keating.

“I think what we want to convey is that a lot of good people work in rugby medicine across the board, from clubs and universities, and we’re trying to do our best to bring everybody together. For years and years it always this separation of the National Office and the Eagles medical staff being distinct from the club scene, and I’ve worked pretty hard since 2005 to kind of break that and bring it all together, because we’re really all doing the same thing.

“We want to be very inclusive with this meeting. This is not like some good old boys club with USA Rugby. The participants we’ve had in the past have shown that, but there’s so many more people out there that simply don’t attend because they don’t know about it. They don’t know it’s for everybody and it’s out there and it’s a reasonably priced event and it’s tied to the premier rugby event in the US.”