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Jones Takes Legal Action Against Governing Bodies

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Monday Jul 18, 2022

Former Wales captain Ryan Jones is set to take legal action against the games governing bodies following his diagnosis of early onset dementia.

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In a hard-hitting interview, Jones revealed his fear of what was to come following the diagnosis.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Jones said he felt as though “His world is falling apart”.

Jones will be joining a lawsuit which is being put forward by 185 former players most notably former England hooker Steve Thomson.

Taking his former employers the WRU where he was until recently a high ranking official to court will no doubt be a difficult decision for Jones.

A leading solicitor in the case Richard Boardman of Rylands Legal spoke to the Daily Mail about the case.

“It’s a ticking time bomb. The vast majority of the former players we represent love rugby and don’t want to see it harmed in any way. They just want to make it safer so current and future generations don’t end up like them.”

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“These issues aren’t restricted to older generations, but current players too. Elite union players from the northern hemisphere have just finished a season which has lasted 11 months,” he said.

Several former players have come out in support of Jones and the other parties in the lawsuit.

Front and centre was former England World Cup winner, Will Greenwood who himself was on the end of some very frightening injury scares.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Greenwood had the following to say.

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“First of all, I am sending just the most amount of love to one of the great blokes on the planet Ryan Jones.”

“I mean it saddens me to my core and we’ve had enough warning shots and its needs continued efforts from the powers that be to make sure that they’ll be in as safe a place as possible. We must do absolutely everything we can when we educate kids in tackles and the contact area that we educate them correctly.” He concluded.

Boardman continued to highlight that at the root of the court case was the players desire to see the game continue to flourish whilst becoming significantly safer for the current and future generations.

“This is why some of the claimants are asking rugby’s governing bodies to make a number of immediate and urgent changes to save the sport, such as a mandatory limit on contact in training, shorter playing seasons, reducing the number of non-injury substitutions and having a more effective pitch-side diagnostic tool than the current head injury assessment protocol.”

“Other developments could be setting up a brain injuries passport, using independent neurology experts for research and guidance and extending the return-to-play period following a concussion.”

In response to the news of Jones joining the case, World Rugby responded with the following statement.

“We care deeply about every member of the rugby family and constantly strive to safeguard and support our players, driven by a clear commitment to further cement rugby as the most progressive sport on player welfare.”

“Rugby is a leader in sport in the identification, prevention and management of head injuries, always acting on the latest science, evidence and independent expert guidance.

“We never stand still and proactively fund research, embrace innovation and explore technology that can make the sport as accessible, inclusive and safe as possible for all participants. We make available a wide range of support for former players, including free access to brain health consultation with leading experts, mental wellbeing education and advice.”

Clearly the game is now at a crossroads and could be set for significant changes which will hopefully mitigate elements of danger that are avoidable.

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