Head injury concerns in rugby

Phil Dollman, Chiefs favourite and Sidmouth Rugby Club player coach

Phil Dollman, Chiefs favourite and Sidmouth Rugby Club player coach - Credit: Archant

 The subject of head injuries has very much been in the news these past couple of weeks. 
A firm representing nine players diagnosed with long-term brain injuries is taking legal action against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union. 
Irrespective of these claims, I’m pleased that this issue has been acknowledged and measures are being taken to minimise the risks. 
In the early days of professional rugby there was very little information available to players about the potential impact of head injuries. 
Players would car crash into each other, knock themselves silly and carry on regardless. 
I recall speaking to colleagues who told me they didn’t know who or where they were after particularly tough scrums. 
Working in an office, as I currently am, there is no way if someone received a serious knock to the head it wouldn’t be treated and recorded properly. 
And it shouldn’t be any different in the sporting arena. 
I have to say that during my time at the Exeter Chiefs, the medical attention in terms of recognition and rehabilitation we received was first class and I always felt that our health and safety was a high priority. 
It’s obvious that the sport has learned a lot but there is, clearly, still some way to go. 
On a brighter note, a recent online auction in aid of the Exeter Chiefs Foundation raised more than £42,000. 
Among the lots were all of the Chiefs players’ European Cup match shirts from this season. 
Mine went for £555, more than those donated by Dave Ewers, Tomas Francis and Ben Moon, I will be keen to (with tongue firmly in cheek) point out when I see them. 
It’s brilliant that so much money has been raised for such a worthy cause. 
The foundation is a charity that exists only to help other charities. In normal years thousands of pounds are raised on match-days though car parking and bucket collections. 
However, this year has been lean because so many of our games in 2020 have been behind closed doors. 
And while I am obviously delighted to be able to give my shirt away to help the cause, I have one, very small gripe… I haven't got one myself! 
Have a great Christmas everyone.

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