Up to 70 players, including multiple All Blacks, affected by cognitive issues as a direct result of their rugby careers, are gearing up for a legal battle against several national rugby bodies.
According to a report in the New Zealand Herald, a growing list made up of players from all over the world have asked a British law firm to start legal action against unions who they believe are responsible for their cognitive issues ranging from post-concussion syndrome to suspected chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease with no cure that can only be diagnosed after death.
Veteran former All Blacks prop Carl Hayman – one of plaintiffs in the lawsuit – has confirmed that he had been in contact with the British-based lawyers about his post-playing medical conditions and has already supplied them with old scans and test results to ascertain the damage he’d suffered over the course of a career where he played in New Zealand, England and France.
‘From what I understand, it’s a pretty ever-growing list of [players]. I think it’s going to be something quite substantial that’s going to come from it,’ he said.
The publication reports the action will likely target various national rugby bodies within that jurisdiction, although it has not yet been revealed what damages would be sought for those suffering from the after-effects of injuries suffered while playing rugby.