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Sports | Rugby: Ex-players set to resort to French justice over concussion

By La Provence (with AFP)

Former rugby players who played in France are preparing to take legal action against the sport’s national bodies, accused of breaching their safety and information obligations on concussions, it was learned on Wednesday. AFP with their lawyers.

This proceeding against the French Federation (FFR) and the League (LNR), which repeats the one hundred former rugby players brought in December 2020 against World Rugby and the English and Welsh Federations, is “a first in France“, according to Nino Arnaud, lawyer of the Marseille bar, confirms information from the sports daily L’Equipe.

Among these fifteen former players who played in the French championships between 2003 and 2022 are the Canadian national team players Jamie Cudmore and the New Zealander Carl Hayman, already at the beginning of the collective procedure initiated in Great Britain, the hooker amateur Quentin Garcia or the other. line by Rennes Sarah Chlagou.

In a letter sent on November 18 to the FFR and the LNR, which has been seen by AFP, Me Arnaud and his partner at the Paris bar, Foucauld Prache, announce their intention to take legal action against these two authorities.”a compensation case“before the Administrative Court of Paris.

According to them, “the occurrence of various disorders that affect“their clients, such as permanent brain damage, dementia praecox, post-traumatic epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease or depression,”could have been avoided”or at least diminished if the FFR and LNR, organizers of competitions in France, “had fulfilled their respective obligations regarding security, prudence, care and information“.

What they all want is for rugby to remain rugby and for it not to go to its own ruin: because if we continue to deny the seriousness of the phenomenon like this, one day we will no longer be able to play rugby as currently practiced“, Me Arnaud explained to AFP.

The health of players, amateurs and professionals, is the priority of the French rugby authorities. Many actions, often cited as exemplary, have been implemented over the years at international and national levels to detect, reduce and manage concussion.“, FFR and LNR responded in a joint statement sent to AFP.

The FFR, LNR and World Rugby have been working on these issues for years with the utmost seriousness. The players’ approach, which has long been initiated against other authorities, is of a legal nature. FFR and LNR take note of this approach and will follow up on it when they find it legitimate.«, they add.

According to a recent study by a team from the University of Glasgow, former international rugby players are two and a half times more likely than the general population to develop neurodegenerative diseases.

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