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Progressive Rugby outlines player head injury concerns to World Rugby in bid to reform the game

Progressive Rugby group writes open letter to World Rugby outlining concerns over player security and supplies a plan to reform the game in order to scale back head accidents inside rugby union; RPA chairman Ethan Waller says their high precedence is player welfare, together with mind and psychological well being

Last Updated: 17/02/21 11:20pm

The prevalence of concussions in rugby union has been under sharp scrutiny in recent months

The prevalence of concussions in rugby union has been below sharp scrutiny in latest months

Progressive Rugby has written an open letter to World Rugby calling for pressing reform in rugby union.

The group has been fashioned by Jamie Cudmore, James Haskell, Professors John Fairclough and Bill Ribbans, plus varied different senior names from the game.

It includes of present and former gamers, coaches, membership representatives, referees, refereeing coaches, medics, sponsors, politicians and academics at rugby-playing faculties – and believes that extra have to be executed to defend the well being and wellbeing of rugby gamers from extreme workloads, mind trauma and the doubtlessly severe and life-threatening penalties that come from repeated concussive and sub-concussive accidents.

In an open letter to World Rugby, the group has outlined its concerns together with a steered plan of motion to enhance total security, defend gamers and convey much-needed reform to the game – stating that “without change, the sport is threatened with extinction within a couple of generations.”

Zander Fagerson was shown a red card for making contact with Alun Wyn Jones' head when launching himself into a ruck

Zander Fagerson was proven a purple card for making contact with Alun Wyn Jones’ head when launching himself right into a ruck

Within the letter, Progressive Rugby mentioned: “We consider in view of the evidence of risk for traumatic brain injuries occurring in rugby union that more should be done to protect the rugby-playing community from the dangers of injury and that World Rugby has a moral and legal duty to minimise risk and to inform players and parents of the risk of brain damage from repeated knocks.

“Evidence of the existence of mind issues in retired gamers helps the rivalry that participation in rugby union may cause mind harm.

The consciousness of the affiliation with traumatic mind injury and participation in rugby union is of paramount significance for each the gamers and the sport itself. We consider that this problem is the biggest risk to the worldwide game.”

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Ireland captain Johnny Sexton branded comments from a French doctor about his concussion record ‘inaccurate’ and ‘highly inappropriate’

Ireland captain Johnny Sexton branded comments from a French doctor about his concussion record ‘inaccurate’ and ‘highly inappropriate’

The letter suggested a number of measures that should be taken to limit head injuries in the game, including limiting contact between players in training, and a review of double-teaming tackles and upper level of tackle height.

Among additional measures, the group also put forward a guaranteed number of days off for players in-between seasons and increased education of head injuries.

RPA chairman Waller: Brain damage not like breaking a leg

Newly appointed Rugby Players’ Association chairman Ethan Waller says that the organisation’s top priority is player welfare – including brain and mental health.

The RFU’s medical figures in December revealed that one in five professional rugby union players in England had a concussion during the 2018-19 season. Those figures represented greater than a four per cent increase of players who sustained concussions during the previous campaign.

Waller backs the call for a sport-wide concussion database and limited contact in training to help prevent further head damage among players.

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Rugby Players’ Association chairman Ethan Waller says players must be shown red cards for reckless contact with the head of opposition players

Rugby Players’ Association chairman Ethan Waller says players must be shown red cards for reckless contact with the head of opposition players

Waller told Sky Sports News: “It’s completely different at every membership, however analysis reveals that a whole lot of accidents do come from coaching together with head accidents.

“It’s clearly an area to look at. There needs to be a balance of what’s safe so that players don’t get injured – because if you do ‘no contact’, it also can end up being detrimental, so it’s about finding the balance of what’s a safe amount to do and finding that middle ground for what’s best for our players.”

The prevalence of concussions has been below sharp scrutiny in latest months with various former gamers launching a authorized case in opposition to the sport’s authorities.

James Ryan sustained a head injury in Ireland's opening Six Nations game against Wales

James Ryan sustained a head injury in Ireland’s opening Six Nations game in opposition to Wales

Scotland’s Zander Fagerson has been banned for the remainder of the Six Nations after receiving a purple card for making contact with Alun Wyn Jones’ head when launching himself right into a ruck in opposition to Wales.

Waller believes that contact with the head ought to end result in a purple card and reckless clear-outs want to be faraway from the game.

Waller added: “Head contact is not like breaking a leg where you can go have an operation and get it fixed – the damage that you could be doing to your brain is something that you may not know about for years.

“I believe the means it has been refereed is spot on as a result of you possibly can’t be having these sorts of reckless clear-outs or these sorts of contacts to the head continually.

“The more deterrents we have against that, the less likely you are to see those things and games to be won or lost on the back of a red card. You’re more likely to see, from a supporter’s point of view, a better spectacle when that begins to filter out of the game.”

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