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Peace of mind for John Barclay after concussion concerns

The Scotland skipper spent six weeks out of rugby after being knocked unconscious in a match.

Fears: John Barclay experienced weeks of symptoms from concussion.
Fears: John Barclay experienced weeks of symptoms from concussion. SNS Group

John Barclay has spoken of his fears after spending six weeks sidelined with concussion.

The 31-year-old back row forward was knocked unconscious while making a tackle for his club side Scarlets against Edinburgh Rugby on September 23.

Symptoms from the concussion, such as lightheadedness and headaches, persisted and he eventually sought advice from a professor of neurology.

After being given the all-clear to resume his rugby career he is preparing to get back into the Scotland shirt for the upcoming autumn internationals.

He is again expected to captain the team in the absence of Greig Laidlaw.

Recalling his weeks spent recovering, Barclay said: "I was running out of time and it was playing on my mind a little bit.

"It was a really tricky few weeks, actually. I have had head knocks before but I wouldn't say I am prone to them. As a professional rugby player you get your fair share.

"This was just one of those ones that dragged on and took time. It was frustrating because there's no golden rule for it - it just takes as long as it takes."

'Before the game I was a little bit anxious, just because of the nature of having a concussion and having the symptoms I did for so long. It gave me a bit of peace of mind that everything is fine.'
John Barclay

He added: "I had the symptoms and I had to just wait and bide my time for them to go away.

"I was lucky to get to play 60-odd minutes for Scarlets last weekend and get that one under my belt and I felt quite good, actually.

"I felt well rested, obviously the lungs were a little bit rusty, but I was thankful to get a run out."

Asked if an hour of Pro 14 action was enough to steel him for the intensity of three test matches, with the physical Samoans first up on Saturday, Barclay said: "I hope so. I was a little bit rusty on the weekend but it is a confidence thing as well.

"Before the game I was a little bit anxious, just because of the nature of having a concussion and having the symptoms I did for so long.

"It gave me a bit of peace of mind that everything is fine."

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