NHSreality opined on this some months ago, and it is good to hear some support. (Professional Contact Sports – should the Health Services cover them fully?) If insurance schemes covered the long term as well as the short term for rugby and ex-rugby players bodies, NHSreality could agree that no laws needed changing.. (Lee Byrne: Dragons’ ex-Wales star forced to retire)
A government drive to boost participation in rugby in English schools is ill-conceived and risks children getting seriously hurt, public health doctors have warned.
Prof Allyson Pollock and colleagues at Queen Mary University of London say the contact sport is too dangerous.
They do not want an outright ban but say the sport must change and safeguards are needed.
The Rugby Football Union said steps had been taken to make the sport safer.
The RFU says the physical and social benefits that rugby offers to children “massively outweigh any potential drawbacks” and that myriad safety measures are already in place.
These include the provision of a safe environment through investment in pitches and facilities, ensuring adequate first aid and medical facilities, and fully training coaches in methods to prevent injuries to young players.
Ministers also want to see more children taking up sport.
In 2012, then Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt announced a plan to link up thousands of schools with rugby clubs.
But Prof Pollock fears there are not enough safety checks and measures to support this, meaning children could get hurt. She wants to see an increase in the recording of injuries and better injury prevention analysis. She claims that, compared with New Zealand, the UK has few strategies to protect players.