Again, there are brain injuries and their consequences – officials, according to the authors of the open letter, do not want to change anything in this regard.
Among the signatories are former England flanker James Haskell, former Canadian national team captain Jamie Cadmore, Dr Barry O’Driscoll, uncle of legendary Irishman Brian O’Driscoll, former New Zealand rugby union General Director David Moffet, ex-player of “All Black” Jeff Old, Enoch Afeaki, Kieran Bracken, Steve Thompson, Rory Lamont, Jonathan Davis, Paul Wallace and others.
In the letter, the authors state that world rugby has faced an “existential crisis”, and the game urgently needs changes to overcome the “the greatest threat”: “Given all the evidence of the risk of brain injury, it needs more to be done to protect the players. World Rugby is both morally and legally obligated to minimize all risks and inform players and parents about the risk of brain damage from repeated strokes. And the WR is inactive – the only thing they did was forbid to attack the head with shoulders”.
The signatures point out that the most dangerous thing is when fresh players step out and face tired rivals. Therefore, as a protective measure, the authors propose to return to the practice of replacement only for injuries – yes, there will be many simulations, but this is the lesser of the evils.
World Rugby’s response did not make wait: “We guarantee that the well-being of the players is our priority, so with the help of International Rugby Players we constantly discuss with the players, and that is why we value and welcome constructive discussions, respect opinions and listen to suggestions, that contribute to the security of the players. We always use medical and scientific data to inform our strategies for teaching, preventing and treating concussions. We are open for discussion and like everyone, want to make rugby better”.