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'Too little, too late': Amateur players launch claim over brain injuries

NEWS: A group of amateur Rugby Union players have launched legal proceedings after claiming the sport’s governing bodies failed to sufficiently protect them from brain injury.

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Law firm Rylands on Monday said the 55 players, who are all suffering from neurological impairments, contend that World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union have been negligent in failing to provide protection from concussive and sub-concussive impacts during their careers.

In a bid to reduce head injuries, World Rugby this week recommended that national unions consult at community level to introduce trials lowering the tackle height.

But Rylands described the move as “too little, too late” to assist its clients or thousands of others who have played the sport.

World Rugby has recommended its unions trial “belly tackles” at the non-elite level, where the tackler engages with the ball carrier below the sternum in a bid to reduce concussions caused by head-on-head contact.

Rylands said they are representing more than 350 players, aged from their 20s to their 70s, in actions across Rugby Union and Rugby League.

“We aim to challenge the current perceptions of the governing bodies, to reach a point where they accept the connection between repetitive blows to the head and permanent neurological injury and to take steps to protect players and support those who are injured,” a Rylands statement said.

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