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Copa

Brain disease CTE found in 2 former pro RL players

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Massive news in Australia.

https://news.yahoo.com/brain-disease-cte-found-2-012657499.html

Researchers and clinicians from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, New South Wales Health and the University of Sydney's Brain and Mind Centre say they made the discovery in two donated brains from middle-aged former professionals who played more than 150 National Rugby League games over many years. The identities of the athletes were kept confidential.”

Edited by Copa
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Even just a few years ago I remember barely conscious rugby league players being left on the field only to be targeted by ball carriers looking for an advantage.

They’d be smashed in the original collision and then repeatedly smashed by the opposition.

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Moronic jokes about Barry and Terry aside, this is a serious matter. The introduction of the HIA and zero tolerance of tackles above the shoulders were long overdue. It's also one of the reasons for banning punching. Thankfully we have mostly eliminated the "headhunter" type player.

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On 29/06/2019 at 09:20, Whippet13 said:

Moronic jokes about Barry and Terry aside, this is a serious matter. The introduction of the HIA and zero tolerance of tackles above the shoulders were long overdue. It's also one of the reasons for banning punching. Thankfully we have mostly eliminated the "headhunter" type player.

"zero tolerance of tackles above the shoulders"  -  there is a lot of contact around the head, there's seems to be plenty of tolerance.

RL would do well to follow RU where any contact above the shoulders starts at a penalty. Safety aside, I can't see what benefit it is to our game to allow grabs round the head, grapple tackles around the neck as the player is tackled to the ground or sticking your head in the face of a player on the floor.

When RU took decisive action a couple of seasons ago advising refs (I'm one) of zero tolerance of any contact above the shoulders , there was a lot of "the game's going soft" talk, but it has made for a much cleaner game. This finding should be a wake up call to RL, because the game will be open to legal action from former players for any neurological injuries just as happened in the NFL. 

Edited by Wakefield Ram
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In today's LE it's reported that after his death, James Graham is going to leave his brain to aid research into the repercussions of head injuries sustained playing RL. Peter Sterling has done the same.

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3 hours ago, Wakefield Ram said:

"zero tolerance of tackles above the shoulders"  -  there is a lot of contact around the head, there's seems to be plenty of tolerance.

RL would do well to follow RU where any contact above the shoulders starts at a penalty. Safety aside, I can't see what benefit it is to our game to allow grabs round the head, grapple tackles around the neck as the player is tackled to the ground or sticking your head in the face of a player on the floor.

When RU took decisive action a couple of seasons ago advising refs (I'm one) of zero tolerance of any contact above the shoulders , there was a lot of "the game's going soft" talk, but it has made for a much cleaner game. This finding should be a wake up call to RL, because the game will be open to legal action from former players for any neurological injuries just as happened in the NFL. 

There are too many tackles of collar grabbing or contact with the head. Or the 3rd man in diving downwards onto a players neck or head. 

RL I agree can clean the game up on these tackles and clamp down on them. 

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The chief doctor for World Rugby (union) is questioning the accuracy of the findings. 

Having seen too many industries undermine research that negatively affects them I’m not sure if his view is sincere or not.

Apparently he also played for Cronulla back in the day.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/world-rugby-s-medical-chief-doubts-breakthrough-cte-findings-20190629-p522jh.html

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The article is saying that the two cases quoted did not match the criteria, he isn't saying there isn't any link generally as he quotes typical symptoms. Two cases is too small a sample size to prove anything. But given he's in charge of concussion protocols at RU World Cup, that speaks for itself.

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20 minutes ago, Wakefield Ram said:

The article is saying that the two cases quoted did not match the criteria, he isn't saying there isn't any link generally as he quotes typical symptoms. Two cases is too small a sample size to prove anything. But given he's in charge of concussion protocols at RU World Cup, that speaks for itself.

If you talk to medical professionals about head injuries in rugby particularly union played in schools its bad.

A threat to junior rugby league being played unless we start talking to the medical profession about working with them.

Because all rugby will be lumped together.

Once the ambulances chasers win a court case it will be game over for schools rugby, if we ignore the issue.

 

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8 hours ago, TheLegendOfTexEvans said:

If you talk to medical professionals about head injuries in rugby particularly union played in schools its bad.

A threat to junior rugby league being played unless we start talking to the medical profession about working with them.

Because all rugby will be lumped together.

Once the ambulances chasers win a court case it will be game over for schools rugby, if we ignore the issue.

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/rugby-federation-cancels-games-1.5120503

 

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33 minutes ago, deluded pom? said:

Those figures are quite eye opening albeit with the caveat that we don't know how many games were played/how many players involved.


Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life. (Terry Pratchett)

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I think the central argument that the NRL will have to win in any case brought against them will be  proving that it has demonstrated a duty of care to prevent head injuries happening. I think they'll have their work cut out to be honest. 

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14 hours ago, Stevoh said:

I think the central argument that the NRL will have to win in any case brought against them will be  proving that it has demonstrated a duty of care to prevent head injuries happening. I think they'll have their work cut out to be honest. 

I think individual clubs that flout concussion guidelines probably have more to fear..

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1 hour ago, Copa said:

I think individual clubs that flout concussion guidelines probably have more to fear..

Lawyers will go after the NRL and club employers but ultimately it is the NRL that has the over-arching responsibility to see that the game  itself has mechanisms in place to see that players' health is not put at risk. I imagine YouTube 'Best Hits' compilations will be much used in evidence.

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5 hours ago, deluded pom? said:

As described in that report, Steve Folkes' case of CTE is mild compared to those of the former gridiron players documented in League of Denial.

Edited by Big Picture

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Before we do anything, we need to check the level of CTE to that of others from a non contact sporting background. We need to also look at overall health benefits from participating in sport/active lifestyles to that of not at all.

Whilst CTE/concussions etc is an issue that we can do better on particularly in the tackle, when you compare to such sports as gridiron and even Ice Hockey were they both went down the route of using helmets for protection, RL is nowhere near in terms of brain/head injury problems.

Gridiron particularly has had a huge shift in head injuries and all body injuries post helmet wearing, their decision to wear was based on small numbers of serious head injuries, the deaths mentioned at the time actually were in the vast majority NOT from head injuries. Post helmet/headgear wearing head injuries went up and the repercussions of massively worse brain injuries both short and long term.  this is replicated in every sport/activity that copies such,  cricket, Ice Hockey, Boxing, cycling, skiing, lacrosse. We already know that casual cycling has a significant increase in head injuries and all injury types with those that wear helmets to those that don't as well as the competitive environ.

I just hope that the reaction to CTE is not trying to introduce head-gear because that has proven to be utterly disastrous, reducing the contact around the head in the first instance must be the way to go and to do that we must adapt the rules and the officials MUST penalise AND their be more serious repercussions to make it absolutely clear that contact around the head/neck is not tolerated, currently that is not the case and we wonder why there are significant increases in injuries particularly around the head in the last couple of decades.

Of course there are instances were accidents do happen, I had one in a game of masters two weeks ago, opposing players moves his head lower and sideways at last split second to avoid contact from one of my team mates coming to tackle and I was lowering my head to make a classic round the midriff tackle. His cheekbone and my upper jaw collided with a decent amount of force, luckily it was just a lump under his eye and a couple of broken sockets of my teeth and a slight buzz and claret. My first ever head clash.

However we cannot remove these incidents completely, it would be silly to presume we could, in the general England and Wales population there are a reported 1.3Million head injuries to a medical person annually(which in itself is a massive under-reporting of head injuries), from that we have circa 160,000 hospital stays. Far and away the vast majority of these are from pedestrians, motorists and those doing normal/ordinary things in and around the home/work.

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It’s interesting that Folkes died with CTE and not because of CTE.

We need to minimise head contact as much as possible so that it becomes as accidental as head injuries in sports like roller blading, skate boarding and snowboarding..

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