George North suffered concussion three times in 2015, including for Northampton Saints against Wasps ©Getty Images

Online concussion education organised by World Rugby was viewed by more than 17,000 people in 2015, the governing body says.

The "Recognise and Remove" scheme was accessed by elite team medical staff, non-rugby doctors and other members of the public.

Additionally, all players, coaches and medics participating at Rugby World Cup 2015 in England undertook mandatory concussion education, while, in a first for a major sporting event, all team and independent doctors had to undertake a dedicated course in concussion management.

It followed increased concerns about head injuries in rugby, with the sport's sevens variant making its Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro this year.

Wales wing George North was twice struck on the head during his country's Six Nations defeat to England in February 2015, prompting controversy when he was allowed to carry on playing between the incidents.

He was then knocked unconscious while scoring a try for club side Northampton Saints against Wasps the following month, prompting an extended lay-off from the game.

The online education is available in 11 languages and includes practical scenarios and videos.

Each successful completion results in a certificate, with World Rugby's independent concussion experts involved in putting the material together.

Concussion is an ongoing concern in rugby
Concussion is an ongoing concern in rugby ©Getty Images

World Rugby Chairman, Bernard Lapasset, said: "Concussion education, prevention, management and research sits at the heart of World Rugby's player welfare strategies aimed at protecting players at all levels of the sport.

"We continue to drive cultural change in our sport and working in full collaboration with leading independent experts and our unions we are educating the symptoms of concussion, highlighting the dangers of ignoring the symptoms and encouraging all to recognise and remove."

Martin Raftery, World Rugby's Chief Medical Officer, added: "While education underpins all that we do in the important area of concussion, we are committed to delivering an evidence-based approach to concussion prevention and management, consulting with leading independent concussion experts.

"For us, 2015 was significant with the implementation of ground-breaking tournament player welfare standards at Rugby World Cup 2015 that proved successful in standardising and promoting the highest level of support for players in terms of concussion prevention and management and are now being rolled out across other major events."

The concussion education can be found here.