a group of eastBritish rugby players diagnosed with early-onset dementia and other degenerative neurological disordersLike former Wales captain Ryan Jones and England’s 2003 World Cup winning hooker Steve Thompson, they will sue world rugby and the federations of their countries to consider that they do not protect professional and amateur rugby players from the obvious risks associated with their safety.
plaintiffs backed by a New Zealander Karl Heymann (former All Blacks player, 42, suffering from dementia praecox and possible chronic encephalopathy) argues that rugby’s governing body was “Reckless” in failing to take reasonable steps to protect players from injury caused by repeated hits, The players had issued claim letters to the same bodies in December 2020 before this action, but no settlement was reached.
Ryan Jones, the former Wales captain and back row captain, revealed a week ago – in an interview with Sunday Times– who is suffering from dementia praecox at the age of 41, due to repeated blows to the head throughout his career. “I feel like my world is falling apart. I am very scared because I have three kids and three stepchildren and I want to be a wonderful father. I lived 15 years of my life as a superhero and I am not. I don’t know what the future holds,” Jones said.
“I don’t remember winning the World Cup”Meanwhile, in the paper in December 2020, Steve Thompson had a chilling statement Guardian. ,It is rugby that has forced me to go through this,” said the player, who was also voted one of the best three in the 2003 World Cup and celebrated the victory at Buckingham Palace.
There was no agreement between the various parties, so now there is a possibility that the matter will end in court. “This claim is not just about financial compensation; It’s also about making the game safe and ensuring that current and former players get tested so that if they do suffer a brain injury, they can get the necessary clinical help.”
At the moment, neither World Rugby nor the Rugby Football Union (the authority governing the practice of men’s rugby in England) and the Welsh Rugby Union (Welsh Federation) have commented on the new lawsuit they have received.
The major impact and neurodegenerative disease in sport is a hot topic of debate, which extends beyond rugby in the UK. In fact, in recent times it has become known that the English football authorities are studying to ban headers against the ball. In games played by children 12 years of age or younger. In 2020, coaches were also advised against mandating headbutting exercises in training for boys under the age of 11, with the “gradual introduction of light heading” at the under-12 to under-16 level. The recommended limit of ten “high force” headers per week was introduced into professional football training.
The drama of dementia in former athletes is very much present in England and the debate is just beginning.