November 18 - Martin Raftery, the chief medical officer of the International Rugby Board (IRB), insisted here that huge steps are being taken to improve safety and player welfare across all forms of the game.
The Medical Commission is being held alongside the IRB General Assembly and the inaugural World Rugby Conference which opened this afternoon, and all three events have put forward player welfare as one of the key issues in the sport.
In particular this involves the introduction of Pitch-side Suspected Concussion Assessment (PSCA) which has revolutionised treatment of head injuries, it is claimed.
In contrast to previous methods, players will be taken off the pitch for five minutes to receive "multi-modal" tests to assess whether they are able to continue - which are more accurate and less affected by on pitch emotions.
Raftery insisted these changes have already brought about a considerable reduction in players staying on the pitch while concussed, although he accepts there is further to go and that the changes are yet to be accepted by the whole rugby community.
As well as the 15-a-side version of the game, this is something which he also sees as integral to rugby sevens as it makes its Olympic bow at Rio 2016.
"We're trying to adapt the concept of the PSCA to sevens and we're doing some trials in the IRB World Series at the moment, so we're looking to protect those players as well," he told insidethegames.
"At the moment we have a programme in place which ran at the Gold Coast Sevens, and we've had feedback on that so we have tweaked a little bit.
"Being off for five minutes in sevens is a big part of the game but its still important that we protect the athletes.
"The other thing different in sevens is that we have matches within a couple of hours and then the next day - so we need to look at all those different issues.
"Every injury is important and we're introducing strategies which go right across the breadth and depth of rugby."
"[The] IOC definitely see player welfare as vital but our feedback already is that we are very close to the top of the tree in comparison with other federations," he said.
"They're not worried about that at all and they recognise that we are a contact sport, and most of their sports are not contact sports."
Raftery, speaking alongside figures including IRB chief executive Brett Gosper and Australian rugby legend George Gregan, explained how player welfare extends beyond merely concussion into many other areas.
One example is that because of a recognised lack of medical coverage at sevens tournaments, the IRB now funding an independent tournament team physician for the circuit.
However, it is the PSCA which has been seen as the most radical step and - although it has been accepted by many leagues and international competitions - this has not yet been universal and there has been criticism from some quarters.
"Rugby is a game when you take a knock and want to stay on in the fight, but players are now understanding that going off will help in the long-term," he said.
"There is less pressure when you are treated off the field of play and less emotion forcing a quick decision.
"It would be great to get numbers below 13 per cent and this is a really important part of the game going forward."
November 2013: Player welfare and Olympic opportunity headline issues as IRB Assembly gets underway