Former rugby players send brain injuries claim letter to governing bodies. In advance of a prospective lawsuit, dozens of former amateur rugby players have complained to the sport’s governing authorities, claiming that not enough was done to safeguard them against brain injury.
More than 55 amateur players have written letters of claim to World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union (RFU), which regulates English rugby, and the Welsh Rugby Union.
A number of former female internationals, top male athletes who competed in the sport before it became professional in 1995, elite youth-team athletes, and the family of a male rugby player who passed away from chronic traumatic encephalopathy are among the group (CTE).
In addition to attempting to make the game safer for future generations, their main concern is recovering damages for themselves and their families.
The complaint is being brought by the same law company that has filed similar lawsuits against other governing organizations on behalf of more than 275 ex brain-damaged professional sportsmen, including England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup champion Steve Thompson and former Wales captain Ryan Jones.
“We are tragically finding the same serious neurological abnormalities at all levels of the game,” said Richard Boardman of Rylands Garth. “It doesn’t matter what level of the game you played or are playing at, whether it’s at school or adult rugby, whether as a professional or amateur, male or female.
“For many, this is a matter of life and death. The overwhelming majority of the gamers we represent, both present and past, like the game and don’t want to see it damaged in any way.
“We now now represent the estates of dead athletes whose post-mortem CTE findings provide unmistakable evidence that a contact sport was to blame. The participants only want to make the sport safer to prevent similar outcomes for present and future generations.
Boardman stated that the claimants were requesting “urgent adjustments,” such as limiting contact during training and enhancing pitchside evaluation.
In an open letter published on Wednesday, World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont addressed the subject of player welfare in light of 2023, which will see the World Cup held in France.
We intended for 2022 to be a year that put a special emphasis on rugby welfare, and I’m happy with what we’ve accomplished together, he added. “But we cannot and will not remain still.
Independent, peer-reviewed research from our renowned smart mouthguard study will be released this year. This information will shed new light on the situation and serve as the foundation for additional improvements in welfare-supporting regulations, procedures, and laws.
The other major elements of our welfare strategy, like as our dedication to education and assistance for former players, will see advancements as well. All of these will contribute to rugby’s continued leadership in player welfare.
In an effort to lessen head blows and concussion risk, the RFU said on Thursday that it has authorized a drop in tackle height for community rugby in England, to waist height or lower.
The new legislation will be effective as of July 1, 2023.