Taupau’s bid for concussion-free future

Manly prop Martin Taupau no longer suffers headaches or memory loss, but it hasn’t stopped him from factoring concussion into his daily routine in a bid to avoid any symptoms in retirement.

Taupau’s world was rocked last August when he suffered a “scary” concussion after the right arm of Warriors forward Jack Hetherington hit him across the face at Brookvale Oval.

The Sea Eagles enforcer couldn’t remember anything for 30 minutes after the hit, while he also had headaches and short-term memory lapses.

Manly prop Martin Taupau was rocked last August when he suffered a ‘scary’ concussion. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Taupau was so rattled after his concussion that he took it upon himself to have a CT scan to confirm that there was no bleeding on the brain.

More than six months on, the Manly prop has made a full recovery, but he has ramped up his preparation and study around the serious condition as he heads into his 12th NRL season to prevent any issues post career.

“It has been good and now I’m OK, but ever since then I’ve been conscious of concussions and the repercussions of looking after your body,” Taupau said.

“I do everything I can in my power to physically and mentally stay strong and fit just to avoid that stuff.

“We’ve all seen in the decline from concussion with former rugby league players over the past decade.”

Taupau believes concussion, and its long-term impact, is one of the biggest issues in sport today.

He has been keeping a close key on the progress of Sydney Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner following his series of concussions last season.

Medical advice has told Cordner not to return until round 12 this season, and Taupau has backed this stance.

“I applaud that from the Roosters – that is awesome,” he said.

“That is amazing from Trent Robinson and his staff that they care about the human being and all that welfare stuff.

“Hopefully, he (Boyd) recovers well, but it all takes time.”

At 31, Taupau has become the leader of Manly’s pack as the team’s eldest statesman.

He relishes this role and is ready to be the mentor of the Sea Eagles’ rising forwards.

“It is really humbling that the young players come to me to inquire about certain things, whether it is the game on or off the field,” he said.

“That really makes me happy because at the end of the day you are not just a rugby league player, you are a human being as well.

“It has been really exciting to see them develop into men throughout the last two months of pre-season.

“Hopefully, I will get an opportunity to play alongside some of these young players. I’m really happy for them being in that position.”

At 31, Taupau has become the leader of Manly’s pack. Picture: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

Manly starts the season with a challenging clash against the Sydney Roosters at the SCG on Saturday night.

The Roosters won’t be easy to beat, but Taupau can see the positives of meeting the Tricolours so early in the year.

“It will definitely put things into perspective to see where we are at to start the season,” he said.

“It always is a big game (against the Roosters). I guess it is a nice way to start our campaign for 2021 against a top team.”

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