Ex-Super League prop Danny Sculthorpe slams ex-rugby league players ‘trying to make a few quid’ in legal concussion battle

IF there is one person qualified to talk about injuries and problems throughout his rugby league career then it is former Super League prop Danny Sculthorpe.

The 44-year-old will be undergoing major surgery to remove a brain tumour next year as well as major surgery on his back whilst Sculthorpe suffered with sepsis three times during his career and was eventually forced to retire with injury.

Meanwhile, over 100 former rugby league players – including the likes of Nick Fozzard and Bobbie Goulding – are wrapped up in a lawsuit with the governing body over what they claim to be negligence of failing to take reasonable action to protect them from serious brain injuries.

For Sculthorpe, he has lambasted those actions of former players as “disgusting” as he describes what he feels could be a 20-year-old tumour.

“I remember in 2003, we played Limoux in the Challenge Cup. I had a funny turn in the scrum but never said anything,” Sculthorpe told League Express.

“I came round a minute later and played the rest of the game. Just looking back in hindsight, I think I had the tumour then. It wasn’t anything to do with head knocks or these claims that some people are making against rugby league. I think it’s disgusting what they are doing.

“Even if my problems were from rugby league, I wouldn’t put a claim in anyway because it’s made me the person that I am today and I think it’s so wrong what they are doing just to make a few quid.

“The changes it has made to rugby league with head knocks, it’s not the same game that I played.

“I’m part of the disciplinary panel for rugby league and some of the things I have to ban players for is ridiculous, but I’ve got to stick to the rules and do my job.

“It’s not great but we have got to have a game in ten or 15 years’ time. If these players win these cases then we won’t have.

“It’s upsetting, we don’t have the money like they do in NFL or football, we don’t have the money to lose this claim but it’s not made the game a better spectacle.”

Sculthorpe went further, believing that such moves will make the gulf between Super League and the NRL even greater.

“I feel sorry for the fans because the sport used to be about physicality and getting stuck into each other, maybe having a scrap and then shaking hands at the end of 80 minutes and having a drink.

“Now we have kids that can’t tackle before the age of 12, how is that going to improve professional players? That’s why we will end up even further behind the NRL.”

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