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Thread: Rugby Faces Seismic Lawsuit on Concussion.

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Rugby Faces Seismic Lawsuit on Concussion.

    With the increased focus on head injuries in both codes of Rugby there could be further law changes needed if the games want to continue affording young people an opportunity to experience joy of of playing and the character it builds. With Rugby, in particular some laws may be contributing to the problem. I have given it a little thought for lately and I think one area; the adjudication of the tackle/maul may need some work. Players put themselves in danger by going into contact with a low body height, for obvious reasons. OK; the easy answer is to sanction defenders for contact with the head. But in many cases you wonder what else is the defender meant to do in this situation. Conversely, what is the ball carrier to do to avoid a turnover?


    More than 70 former rugby players are preparing a potentially seismic group-litigation action due to the effects of concussions suffered during their careers.

    The London Telegraph has learnt the group includes several former England, Wales and New Zealand internationals. Nearly all sustained multiple head knocks during their careers and have suffered from memory loss, insomnia, migraines and depression since retirement.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...08-p56lnc.html

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    'I can't remember winning the World Cup': concussion crisis ramps up and sport must take notice. - Peter FitzSimons.

    The huge international rugby story your humble correspondent has been working on for the last few weeks – corralling the Australian angle – has broken overnight. In Britain, it has been revealed eight former professional rugby players, all under 45, are to launch legal action................In this British legal action, the numbers include Steve Thompson..........sometimes can’t remember the name of his wife, but hasn’t a single shred of memory from the most iconic moment in his life, just 17 years ago.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/i-can-t...09-p56ly4.html

    For anyone else interested in this topic; the video embedded in this article (the one about a diagnostic tool inserted in a mouth guard) is worth a watch too.

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    Last edited by shasta; 10-12-20 at 07:44.
    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David


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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    this could get bigger than Ben Hur!

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    How big was his????

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    In all seriousness, I think there are only a few alternatives. One, is to sign a waiver, two, radical changes to the laws eliminate collision, three, the code dies a slow agonizing death. Question for our knowledgeable silks : " can one get cover from the NDIS if one shows evidence that repeated concussions while playing Rugby caused the disability?"

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brokendown gunfighter View Post
    this could get bigger than Ben Hur!
    The bloke who owns the Rabbitohs??

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    Legend Contributor brokendown gunfighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    The bloke who owns the Rabbitohs??
    close,but no cigar

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    The bloke who owns the Rabbitohs??
    nah mate, You are thinking of....


    .... Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the TRUE emperor, Marcus Aurelius.

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    Veteran Sheikh's Avatar
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    Ben Hur is "from my cold dead hands" and also "you damn dirty ape"!

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    Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Haylett-Petty’s concussion battle set to rule him out of season opener


    Melbourne Rebels captain and Wallabies star Dane Haylett-Petty doesn’t know when he will play his next match of rugby but is confident the after effects of a concussion he sustained in the Bledisloe Test in Sydney in October won’t end his career or prevent him from representing Australia at the next World Cup.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...10-p571ay.html

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    Senior Player Leo86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Haylett-Petty’s concussion battle set to rule him out of season opener


    Melbourne Rebels captain and Wallabies star Dane Haylett-Petty doesn’t know when he will play his next match of rugby but is confident the after effects of a concussion he sustained in the Bledisloe Test in Sydney in October won’t end his career or prevent him from representing Australia at the next World Cup.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...10-p571ay.html
    Hope he comes good

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    Veteran Ecky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo86 View Post
    Hope he comes good
    I hope he gets proper medical advice and then heeds it. He has a long life to live after he stops playing footy.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecky View Post
    I hope he gets proper medical advice and then heeds it. He has a long life to live after he stops playing footy.
    Could not agree more. Just ask Steve Thompson, who at 42 years old has dementia and cannot remember being in Australia for the RWC in 2003

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...CVc4LL7omaeuiw

    After Steve Thompson won the World Cup in 2003, he took part in the victory parade through the West End, was picked as one of the three best players in the world and went to Buckingham Palace, where they gave him an MBE. Thompson won a grand slam too, as well as a European Cup with Northampton Saints, and he played for the British & Irish Lions.

    Now, at the age of 42, he has been diagnosed with early onset dementia and probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy. “It’s the rugby that’s put me through this,” he says. And that’s why, if he could, he would undo all of it. “Some people go for the big lights, whereas I don’t want that. I never wanted that. I’d rather just have had a normal life.”

    Thompson was on a job in Kendal not long ago, living away from home while he was repairing a burst water main. While he was there they were showing some of the England games from the 2003 World Cup on TV. He had never watched them back before, except for little bits and pieces when they were doing their post-match analysis during the tournament. But he did now.

    “And it was as if I was watching England play now. Except I was there. But I can’t remember at all being there. Honestly, I don’t know scores from any of the games.” A lot of his career is like that, patchy and full of gaps. He used to pride himself on his memory and have a head full of complicated lineout calls. “If you put them in now, not a chance. Not a chance.”

    These days, he forgets. He forgets directions, which bits of a book he has read and what TV shows he’s watched. Sometimes he even forgets his wife’s name. “I could look at Steph sometimes. And she says it’s like I’m a complete blank. And she’ll go: ‘I’m Steph.’ The name’s gone. Gone.” He suffers from anxiety, too, and has started having panic attacks. Sometimes he finds he gets aggressive for no good reason. “It’s weird. It’s a bit like an out-of-body experience, to be honest, and it happens a lot more now.”

    And he wonders what the point of it all was, why he spent all those years playing a game that, he believes, has led him here. “I finished up with nothing really at the end of it.” Not even memories. “I can’t remember it. I’ve got no memorabilia. I’ve got no feelings about it. You see us lifting the World Cup and I can see me there jumping around. But I can’t remember it.” The money is gone, too. “No one could ever say that I’m money-orientated, because that’s the one thing I’m not. I just wanted a simple life. I would have liked to be able to work outside and use my body and my mind. That’s not going to happen now.”


    What he does have is guilt. Steph is younger than him “and I’m thinking, what have I done to her? She doesn’t deserve this”. She has taken the diagnosis in her stride. “She just went: ‘I’ll just have to care for you, won’t I?’” But he worries how she will cope. “I’m not a small bloke, you know, I’m 6ft 3in, 120 kilos. So if you’ve got to care for me, it’s quite a bit of meat to carry around.”


    Thompson started playing when he was 15. “Was it a massive love of my life? No, no, not really. But it was a job. I happened to be good at it in those times. I enjoyed the company of the lads and things like that. But then would I do it again? No, I wouldn’t.” He has four kids, the youngest of them a one-year-old boy. They still go down to the local rugby club, for the social side. “But I don’t really want my boy playing rugby, the way it is at the moment.” He watches the players “knocking the hell out of each other” and he worries. “You know, when you’re younger, you feel a bit macho, and you feel like you can’t be broken.”

    That’s how he was. Thompson was one of the first generation of professional players. When he started, he was training two nights a week. He remembers the switch to full-time training. “It was like: ‘So what do we do now then?’ It felt like the coaches were thinking: ‘We’ll just knock the hell out of each other. That’s what we’ll do.’ And we did.” It was worse when he got called up to play for England. “It was so brutal during the week that you’d come home on the Thursday for your day off and I’d just be like: ‘I don’t think I can play, I feel utterly battered.’”

    The game in those early professional years had a brutal culture, Thompson says. “They had us for that Six Nations period, and the autumn internationals, and they literally just beasted you until you fell apart.” They were back in training two days after they won the World Cup. A lot of them played for their clubs the next weekend. It made him feel like “a bit of meat”. But he was so anxious about being dropped that he got on with it.


    He guesses a lot of players from that era may end up having similar problems. “I can see the numbers being high, especially for the first players to come through, what, ’96‑97 up to the mid-2000s, really.” He could see attitudes were changing by the end of his career. “The 2011 World Cup camp was completely different to the 2003 World Cup camp. In 2011 it was a lot more technical, whereas in 2003 you just had to beast yourself.”

    He didn’t worry about it, because he didn’t think he had to. “I don’t service my own car. Someone else does that, because that’s what they do. I was there to play rugby. And then you’ve got people there that look after you.” But the players, in that culture, with the absence of regulation, were not protected. “You think how many specialists were out there watching that and not saying anything,” he says. “They knew what was happening. And nothing was done about it. People were getting knocked on the head and it was not being recorded. I’m knocked out in training and it was always: ‘It’s just a knock on the head, he’ll be fine.’


    “In the old days it was a bit of a laugh. If someone got whacked in the head, it was: ‘Oh, look at him, he’s had a belt. He’ll be up in a minute.’” One of his doctors asked him how many concussions he had had. Thompson asked him back what counted as a concussion. “Is it when you’re not totally out? And he said: ‘No, that’s not true any more.’ And I’m like: ‘Well, I was doing it every training session then, really, when you look at it.’


    “The amount of head bangs I had in training. I was known for it. ‘Oh, he’s having a little sleep, he’ll get up in a minute.’” He remembers all the gruelling sessions on the scrum machines. “There’s so much pressure. They aren’t moving, they’ve got pegs in it, they’ve got people stood on it, and you drive into it, all that weight coming through.” He’d push until the point when his head started to go. “And suddenly, as the pressure comes off, you start getting the light, the little white dots, and you don’t know where you are for a few seconds.”

    He is angry with the clubs, who he feels haven’t provided proper aftercare, angry with the Rugby Football Union, and angry with the Rugby Players’ Association, which he believes should be fighting harder for the players. “I don’t want to kill the game. I want it regulated.” He thinks professional players should be allowed to play only if they have a brain scan at the start of every season. “Every year you drive your car you get an MOT. The body’s exactly the same thing. If it’s not working, you shouldn’t be doing your job. It sounds awful, because lads are going to have to retire at 22 or 23. But trust me, it’s better finishing then than to be where I am now.”

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    Agree in general, but just to put a counterpoint, my friend's wife died in of that her early 50s and I'm pretty sure she never played for anyone, professionally or otherwise. In Australia it apparently affects 1 in a 1000 people, so let's not lose sight of the fact that statistically some professional players were going to develop the issue even if they went their whole life without a head knock.

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    Veteran Ecky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Agree in general, but just to put a counterpoint, my friend's wife died in of that her early 50s and I'm pretty sure she never played for anyone, professionally or otherwise. In Australia it apparently affects 1 in a 1000 people, so let's not lose sight of the fact that statistically some professional players were going to develop the issue even if they went their whole life without a head knock.
    Completely get that point and agree. My concern is that, now that he's had a concussion, he may now be susceptible to more, and management of the (potential) condition should be forefront in any decisions around playing.

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