COMPLEX TOPIC

World Rugby launches brain health scheme to help elite players

World Rugby aims to agree contracts next year to establish the first clinics.

In Summary

• A group of former players are suing the game’s authorities, claiming not enough was done to prevent their brain damage.

• “As a former player myself, I appreciate that some players may be worried about their brain health,” he added, describing it as “a complex and daunting topic” for some.

World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont
Image: FILE

World Rugby, the game’s global governing body, has launched a new initiative that aims to set up a global network of free brain health clinics for elite players.

A group of former players are suing the game’s authorities, claiming not enough was done to prevent their brain damage.

“By providing accessible video resources and high-quality care and support through brain health clinics around the world, we can better educate our rugby family,” said World Rugby chairman Sir Bill Beaumont.

World Rugby aims to agree contracts next year to establish the first clinics.

Beaumont, who captained England and the British and Irish Lions during his playing days and whose son Josh plays for Sale, admitted the possible long-term effects of the game are a personal, as well as professional, concern.

“As a former player myself, I appreciate that some players may be worried about their brain health,” he added, describing it as “a complex and daunting topic” for some.

“It is about creating community, starting conversations and building an understanding of how we all can make lifestyle changes that can positively impact our long-term wellbeing.

“At the same time, we will not sit still in evolving our game to ensure it best protects those playing it.”

World Rugby’s initiative includes a video explaining the different steps players can take to maximise their brain health through nutrition, physical fitness, learning, exposure to air pollution and other factors.