ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Friday Sep 3, 2021

Shane Williams still suffering from brutal 2004 Bakkies Botha hit

Concussion has long been in the mainstream discussion about player welfare in rugby, particularly over the last few years, but a recent study in the UK found that playing just one year of the game can leave lasting impacts to the brain.

ADVERTISEMENT

One player who knows that feeling all too well, and who has started to question whether he is suffering the after-effects of concussion from his playing days, is former Welsh international winger Shane Williams.

Speaking to the BBC, Williams recalled one particular incident where he suffered a concussion from a legal tackle during a match between Wales and South Africa in 2004.

That hit came from Bakkies Botha, from behind, which eventually led to Percy Montgomery’s game-sealing try in a closely fought encounter.

Although appearing innocuous at the time, Williams revealed that the tackle was “one of the biggest hits I’ve ever taken” throughout his career.

“It wasn’t until I got back to the hotel several hours later that I realised I wasn’t very well,” he said.

“That was one of the biggest hits I’ve ever taken really, I think.

ADVERTISEMENT

“It was a blur getting changed afterwards – seeing the players, seeing family members in the stadium afterwards, I don’t remember – it was almost like I’d blacked out for a couple of hours and the next thing I’m in the hotel again sat in the reception thinking: ‘Gosh what happened there?’

“I’m always questioning: Has my memory deteriorated because of my age? I’m forever writing things down anyway – is that because of my age? Or is it because I’ve taken hits over the years?” he added.

The latest concussion study, published by the University of South Wales found that cognitive function, i.e. the blood flow to the brain, started to appear after a solitary season playing the game, placing more focus on the impact of concussion and head impacts in rugby.

ADVERTISEMENT

One of the most concerning side-effects of this decreased cognitive function is the decline in the ‘ability to remember, formulate idea and perform mental gymnastics’.

The study was carried out on an unnamed team competing in the United Rugby Championship, formerly the Pro 14, with the paper also going on to say that the average player may be exposed to 11,000 ‘contact events’ in a single season.

World Rugby is continually working on ways in which to reduce the impact of concussion in the sport through its player welfare programmes, but it remains to be seen where this latest study will fit in to any future law changes.

Related Articles

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand Rugby Brawl

  • 28 WEEKS AGO

    Must see all in brawl

  • 29 WEEKS AGO

    Shocking head shot in Ireland game sparks...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 9 HOURS AGO

    Duhan van der Merwe Scores Calcutta Cup Classic

  • 9 HOURS AGO

    Marcus Smith Sets Up World Class Max Malins Try In Calcutta Cup

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Faf De Klerk Involved With Wild Trick Play In Japanese Top League

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Italian Star With A Mind Blowing Finish For Toulouse

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Quick Thinking Etzebeth Scores Thrilling Try To Keep Sharks Alive In London

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 8 HOURS AGO

    Liam Williams Accused Of Diving Following Iain Henderson Collision

  • 11 HOURS AGO

    Garry Ringrose Hammers Dan Biggar In Dominant Irish Victory At Principality Stadium

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Nasty Stamp During Top 14 Clash Caught Up Close On Camera

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Leicester Tigers And Springbok Number Eight In Hot Water For Sickening Ankle Roll

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Controversy Brewing Following Lack Of TMO intervention In ‘Dangerous’ Toulouse Tackle

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Sevens magic as 'headed' try brings stadium to its feet

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Almost 35,000 have now signed petition to reverse new grassroots tackle laws

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    RFU introduce maximum of waist high tackling in amateur rugby

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Big players omitted in Borthwick's new squad and Jones finds a new job - The fallout

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Chaotic try in classic footage shows just how unpredictable a rugby ball can be

View All

Funnies

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Skydiver Interrupts Rugby Match With Clear High Tackle

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Faf De Klerk Involved With Wild Trick Play In Japanese Top League

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Sevens magic as 'headed' try brings stadium to its feet

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Australian Broadcasters Slammed For ‘Pathetic’ Attack On International Referee

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    “I’m Too Old” Referee Substituted In Bizarre Incident

View All

Amateur

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Sarah Mckenna plays crossbar challenge with cheeky drop goal

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Capuozzo shows class with 'superman' flying finish

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Slade out and Lions star in as England injuries cause changes

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Josh Bassett signs for new premiership team after short stay at Harlequins

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Exeter fly half to depart for France

View All