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Rugby brain injury claim set to exceed £300m

29 Mar 2023

Rugby brain injury claim set to exceed £300m

A claim against rugby governing bodies could exceed £300 million as former rugby players accuse them of failing to provide protection against brain injuries.

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The claim, is being brought on behalf of more than 200 players against World Rugby, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) and the Rugby Football Union (RFU). Former rugby players suffering from neurological impairments accuse the governing bodies of being negligent in failing to protect them from concussive and sub-concussive impacts with the claim expected to exceed £300m to pay for the care of the players. The claim is the biggest of its kind in the world outside of the US.

Those involved in the class action are suffering — in their 30s, 40s and 50s — from 'irreversible neurological impairments' such as probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), early onset dementia, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease and motor neurone disease’.

World Rugby said: "Rugby is a sport that supports lifelong health and wellbeing benefits for participants at every level. It is loved by millions of current and former players around the globe.

"We care deeply about every member of the rugby family and have been saddened by the brave personal accounts of former players who are struggling with any health issues. We wish to let them know that we care, we listen, and we never stand still when it comes to further cementing rugby as the most progressive sport on athlete welfare.

"Acting on the latest science, evidence and independent expert guidance, we constantly strive to safeguard and support all our players - future, current, and former. Rugby is a leader in the prevention, management and identification of head impacts and World Rugby also proactively funds transformational research, embraces innovation and explores technology that can make the sport as accessible, inclusive and safe as possible for all participants.

"As has been the position since December 2020 when these claims were first made, we remain unable to comment on the specifics of the legal action as we continue to await the full details of the claims being made against us."