Jamie Cudmore will go down in the history of rugby football as a real cult hero. The former Canadian lock was a talisman for Clermont and Canada throughout a glittered career, and is now playing with Oyonnax.
The 6ft 6in 38-year-old was playing against Saracens for the French side in the European Cup, and was called ashore due to a clash of heads with Billy Vunipola.
However, unhappy with how he was dealt in the aftermath, Cudmore is set to sue Clermont, which could have huge ramifications for World Rugby’s Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocol.
Featured in the Daily Mail, Cudmore spoke of the incident.
“There was a huge head contact with Billy and myself going head to head at a ruck.
“It’s an accident of rugby, two guys arriving at the same time at the same height. We were both on our hands and knees and I remember saying, ‘Jeez, that was a good one’.
“When I got back to the changing room they started to stitch me up and then after that they put me through the HIA.
“I had no chance. I probably remembered one of the words and I remember clear as day, I can see his face now, saying, ‘No, you’re done . . . c’est fini’.
He was then asked to return to the field of play.
“‘Jamie, Jamie, how are you? Sebby [second row partner Sebastien Vahaamahina] is not good. Can you come back on? You gotta come back on’. I was like, ‘Yeah, sweet’, and tied my lace and went straight back out.
“Two or three minutes into the game I hit Chris Masoe and their other prop behind him at the same time and was just sparked straight out. It was a normal tackle leading with the shoulder. There was no contact with my head. But the force of the impact sparked me straight out. My body just went limp.
“I went off, did the HIA and a new doc we had figured everything was all right and I went back on. Towards the end of the game I had a clash of heads with Juan Smith and cut myself. I went off and started vomiting in the changing room. I didn’t know about second impact syndrome. I didn’t know I could have died.
“I definitely worry about the future. I don’t want to be one of those guys who is 65 but can’t remember anything.”
It is clear that he was not dealt with correctly after the incident, and there appears to be grounds to sue.
This would have a huge knock-on effect on the future stringency when it comes to concussion.