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Rugby World Cup 2015: Calls for changes to player safety

25 | 09 | 15

By SheldonDavidsonSolicitors

The 100-year-old whistle has been blown to mark the start of the first game; the Rugby World Cup 2015 is officially in full swing across Britain.

So far, as of 2pm on the 25th of September- attendance figures are at 642,397, there’s been a total of 601 points scored- made up of 67 tries, 49 conversions and 56 penalties. It’s fair to say it’s been an exciting first week of sporting action!

We are officially in full World Cup spirit here, with talks of tackles, tries, supporter camaraderie and shock performances everywhere you turn, it's difficult not to get drawn in by the excitement.

One particular conversation that’s been discussed in quite some detail is a player injury during the game. Earlier this week BBC Panorama reported on the rules surrounding tackling in rugby. Shockingly, the number of players suffering a concussion during a rugby match has doubled in five years, with the number of reported concussions in English rugby seeing a major increase of 59% between 2013 and 2014.

For the BBC Panorama report, Rugby and the Brain – Tackling the Truth, medical experts from World Rugby, the international governing body of rugby union, were interviewed and said that changes needed to be made in order to make the game safer for everyone involved.

Sadly, a concussion can be fatal and, Peter Robison, who was also interviewed as part of the report, sadly lost his son following a brain injury sustained playing rugby. World Rugby’s chief medical officer, Martin Raferty has said the tackle would most likely be the focus in order to make the game safer:

“Player welfare is about identifying what the risk is and then bringing about change.

“There’s no doubt that the biggest area that we know where concussion is going to occur is in the tackle, so that will help us to look at the tackle and see what we can do to make it safer.”

Symptoms of a concussion include dizziness, nausea, and memory loss. In some cases symptoms can persist causing depression and personality change lasting weeks, or sometimes months; this is known as post-concussion syndrome.

It’s inevitable when suffering any of the above symptoms that they are likely to affect your rugby career and overall well-being. Sadly for many players, this sparks the end of their careers, with Leinster’s Kevin McLaughlin becoming the latest professional to retire from the sport due to concussion.

McLaughlin’s announcement comes soon after former Wales flanker Jonathan Thomas ended his playing career after being diagnosed with epilepsy, brought on by repetitive brain injury.

As part of the intense physicality of the sport, players often receive hard tackles resulting in serious head knocks. All of which can lead to brain injuries, ultimately having devastating impacts on a player’s health.

Thankfully actions are being taken by World Rugby, with discussions amongst medical experts on how to reduce the number of injuries, including concussion and brain injuries.

Regardless of how you suffer an injury, the outcome can sometimes be devastating, and in the case of serious injury, can mark the end of your career. This alone is a difficult and life-changing factor to get to grips with, aside from the personal injuries you are also faced with.

This can be made all the more distressing when you are suffering from a personal injury that was not your fault. At Sheldon Davidson Solicitors, a leading firm of Personal Injury Solicitors, we believe that nobody should have to suffer due to the carelessness and negligence of somebody else.

If you feel as though you have suffered a personal injury as a result of third-party negligence, Sheldon Davidson Solicitors' team of Manchester Personal Injury Lawyers will advise you on the best way to proceed with your claim. Sheldon Davidson Solicitors are personal injury claim experts with vast experience in handling a broad spectrum of Personal Injury Claims, from Accidents Abroad Claims to various types of  Medical Negligence Claims.

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