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Proposed " Class Action"

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Bigmal View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Proposed " Class Action"
    Posted: 08 Dec 2020 at 15:04
I have just read the story about the possibility ( probability?) of a group of ex players who intend seeking damages for medical problems allegedly caused by repeated blows to the head whilst playing.

For the avoidance of doubt I do not think it my place to comment on the specific individuals involved but clearly such action could have serious implications for those playing, refereeing, coaching and administering the game at all levels. With problems brought on by C19 will we now see further changes in the laws?

With the size and physicality of players especially at the top level it seems to me that the only potential solutions are likely to involve a reduction in numbers on the park as well as in the set pieces?

During lockdown I have watched a couple of games of League and noticed that  high tackles are not penalised quite as rigorously as in Union. I wonder whether ex League players are suffering in the same way as Union players?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve@Mose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2020 at 15:16
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote kingsheathlad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2020 at 19:52
Fortunately, I only suffered concussion once when playing in the 80's,but ended up in hospital. To this day I don't remember the game or the day. Although I was discharged the same day, I was not told anything about not playing the following week, however I had a two week holiday booked so I did not play again for four weeks, which may have been a blessing. .
Reading some of quotes by these players it is quite frightening to think they played so many games after concussion or being knocked out. 


Edited by kingsheathlad - 19 Dec 2020 at 08:52
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Steve@Mose View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steve@Mose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 14:03
Some interesting stats.


Quote In 2018-19, 20.4% of players sustained at least one match concussion.

It is an increase from 16% in the 2017-18 season.

The report analysed 407 games and 763 players from 12 Premiership clubs.

For the eighth consecutive season, concussion was the most commonly reported match injury.

In total, there were 166 match concussions and 38 training concussions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 15:28
Originally posted by Steve@Mose Steve@Mose wrote:

Some interesting stats.


Quote In 2018-19, 20.4% of players sustained at least one match concussion.

It is an increase from 16% in the 2017-18 season.

The report analysed 407 games and 763 players from 12 Premiership clubs.

For the eighth consecutive season, concussion was the most commonly reported match injury.

In total, there were 166 match concussions and 38 training concussions.

Part of that is going to be because the sport has got better at identifying and reporting it. 

But part of it is also going to be bigger players colliding with each other and more physicality. 

It's an argument for going back to two nights a week training, all players to have other jobs, and banning gyms...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marigold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 15:48
I am amazed that considering clubs train possibly three times as long as they play that less than 20% of reported concussions happen in training. Agree sport much better at reporting it in matches , would like to believe that is the same for training but am sadly sceptical.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 15:50
Originally posted by marigold marigold wrote:

I am amazed that considering clubs train possibly three times as long as they play that less than 20% of reported concussions happen in training. Agree sport much better at reporting it in matches , would like to believe that is the same for training but am sadly sceptical.


Probably because a lot of training isn't full contact.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote workerbee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 15:57
Rugby has changed, No longer do players try to avoid the tackle but take it head on as a battle of strength and physicality, no more Phil Bennetts more Joma Lomu's . This has been caused by the professional game expecting players to be gym bunnies rather than athletes. Too much emphasis  on the bony building and less on Aerobic capacity. On way to reduce this would be to have less subs which would mean players having to last 80 minutes not 50. More and more players are going into the tackler with their heads down making it impossible to tackle unless they target the ankles ,many concussion injuries are on the tackler not the tackled person. there must be a way of stopping players leading with their head. 
Banning schools tackling will be the end of the game as boys will simply play football. No  one will want to leave school never tackling and go into senior rugby which will be a different and more physical game.

No easy answers but if these actions go ahead I can see it being the death of rugby.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Richard Lowther Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 16:09
The legal beagles suggest that the class action won't be succesful but that a compromise will be reached - providing the players with some financial support.

Hopefully it will result in changes and reverses to some of the current practices and laws which are seen to be the root of the issue. 

As Workerbee suggests one of the easiest fixes is the reduction in the number of replacements and an encouragement for players to train for longevity and not bulk up for strength.  The issue I don't have a simple solution for is those players who play on after being injured, either because the injury isn't picked up or they don't feel they can come off because all the subs have been used. 

As I said on here and other forums my Dad had an expression " Be more like dodgems not bumper cars" meaning look for the space not the man.  Unfortunately too many players these days seem to take delight in looking for the man and not the space and we have players coached out of using thier initiative. 


Edited by Richard Lowther - 22 Dec 2020 at 17:41
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marigold View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marigold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 16:15
Raider sadly I have seen concussions happen in unopposed lineout practice and touch rugby. My point was about the volume of training compared to the volume of matches played
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Raider999 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 20:04
Originally posted by marigold marigold wrote:

Raider sadly I have seen concussions happen in unopposed lineout practice and touch rugby. My point was about the volume of training compared to the volume of matches played


I didn't say that concussions couldn't/didn't happen in training - I just suggested that as a lot of the training session will not be full contact that might explain why only 20% of concussions were attributed to training despite the time spent training being considerably longer than that playing actual matches.
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Bigmal View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bigmal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 20:50
As the instigator of this thread I note that RL players have been drawn into the matter so it would appear that this is a matter for BOTH codes as well as other sports.

Size, strength and subs are key issues but the leading with the head is arguably the real problem.

Over the years the move towards seeking contact as opposed to space has made the game more relentless in physical terms so we probably have to get back to players staying on their feet although there is separate criticism on these pages of Exeter style rolling mails.

The answer for the lower leagues has to be less subs and a more open game. The professional game is another matter so are we looking at protective headgear becoming mandatory and leading with the head to be penalised? 

Difficult questions and complicated solutions face those in charge. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rucking Idiot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Dec 2020 at 22:13
The game today is all about the big hit. Due mainly by the position you played was by your height, size & shape. For example Steve Thompson & Billy Beaumont. Perhaps the solution would be to take the game back to the 80's when tackles were below the waste and scrums were about technique...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote castleparknight Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2020 at 11:48
Is there anything in here about the player knowing in advance of the risks involved in playing a contact sport and accepting those risks - it is a bit like a soldier who signs up during peacetime and when war arises trying to leave because I didn't join up for that....... it is a part of the role. Yes, there is an obligation to try and support the players but the liability doesn't sit with the RFU or the Clubs but with the player as they knew what they were engaging in.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thatbloke Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2020 at 12:29
Have to agree Castle Park Knight! Very unfortunate for those who suffer such consequences but sadly it comes with the territory and is, no doubt, part of the attraction of the sport for those who play it. We have been having such conversations about boxing for many, many years and still there is no shortage of those wishing to sign up and partake.
Can there be any better way to make a living than to get paid for playing a sport that, presumably, you love and enjoy. No-one is forced to play!
Many professional occupations come with inherent risks attached. You have mentioned the obvious one in being employed by our armed forces but what about police force, firemen, paramedics, scaffolders, roofers,....... the list is endless. All of these occupations are covered by insurance and compensation schemes and so it should remain with professional sportspeople
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2020 at 13:24
Originally posted by Thatbloke Thatbloke wrote:

No-one is forced to play!


Schools spring to mind (my own was - 30 years ago but still today - putting out 4 XVs in each year group per week), as do M&Js - the argument in both cases that the chid isn't competent to make the decision themselves (as in understanding the potential long term consequences). 

IIRC doesn't someone have to sign a contract on behalf of an under 18, rather than the person themselves? Certainly do for the armed forces - so that's another potential liability in terms of clubs and more particularly academies.


Edited by billesleyexile - 23 Dec 2020 at 13:25
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rucking Idiot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2020 at 18:57
Fully agree with the 3 statements above. Having gone to a grammar school when you had 1 term of rugby with the choice of a 2nd term. Because I boxed I was placed in the front-row. You learnt your trade through the pain of not getting it right. However, didn't get my "Wings" until my 1st adult game v a London Irish XV at the age of 15. I knew the risks but played for the love of the game for another 45 seasons. My back, neck, knees, ankles & hands let me know I played the game. Even so would I do it all over again yes without question. Keep you & yours safe looking forward to meeting for a beer next Autumn....
If it looks like a duck & quacks like a duck it's just my rucking luck!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote billesleyexile Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2020 at 19:28
Originally posted by Rucking Idiot Rucking Idiot wrote:

Fully agree with the 3 statements above. Having gone to a grammar school when you had 1 term of rugby with the choice of a 2nd term. Because I boxed I was placed in the front-row. You learnt your trade through the pain of not getting it right. However, didn't get my "Wings" until my 1st adult game v a London Irish XV at the age of 15. I knew the risks but played for the love of the game for another 45 seasons. My back, neck, knees, ankles & hands let me know I played the game. Even so would I do it all over again yes without question. Keep you & yours safe looking forward to meeting for a beer next Autumn....

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Monkey Boy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Dec 2020 at 23:20
Years of really poor coaching encouraging contact as opposed to avoiding it.  Rugby is classed as an evasion sport but coached by too many people with egos and masculine issues
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marigold Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Dec 2020 at 08:08
Have been involved for many years with coaching at full range of ages and can honestly say i have never seen coaches encouraging contact as opposed to running through an available gap. What I have seen is coaches preparing players for the inevitable contact that happens in the game so they can deal with those situations. In fact footwork drills for front five players exist today to help them avoid defenders -never saw that in the days of Beaumont et al. Huge change has been the time spent on coaching defence and in particular on the organisation of team defence. Non tackling fly halves used to be celebrated and even play international rugby-these days they are not considered for selection.
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