How was unconscious Highlander allowed to return to field? NZRU respond to shock decision (watch)

The NZRU are reviewing their concussion procedures after a Highlanders player suffered a heavy head knock during a Super Rugby game but returned to the field at the weekend in remarkable fashion.

Highlanders prop Josh Hohneck was knocked out in their Saturday night win over the Crusaders.

The 29-year-old copped a substantial blow when he went attempted to tackle Crusaders loose forward Jordan Taufua early in the first half of the match in Christchurch.

Hohneck hit the ground and then with medical assistance regained his feet and made his way off the field for the required concussion test.

He reportedly cruised through the test and was therefore allowed to return to the field less than 10 minutes later, at which time both the referee Glen Jackson and Crusaders halfback Andy Ellis both questioned the decision.

NZRU's General Manager of Rugby Neil Sorensen is aware of how seriously head knocks have to be taken and admits they are looking into this area of the game.

"There's been a number of incidents over the last few months in this latest Super Rugby competition that have been well reported," Mr Sorensen said.

"There's Jerome Kaino, Sonny Bill and young Josh Hohneck on the weekend.

"We're absolutely looking into how that was managed, what we can learn from it and how we can do things better."

Last week former Chiefs and one Test All Black Ben Afeaki announced his retirement from rugby after suffering a serve concussion at the start of last year.

The NZRU are also trialling a new system in which the official match doctor watches the game on a video screen so that he can monitor the knocks players suffer.