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Jamie Cudmore lends support to ex-players suing over head injuries

Former Canadian international Jamie Cudmore has lent his support to players suing rugby’s governing bodies over potential brain damage they suffered when playing the game.

The ex-Clermont Auvergne player revealed to the BBC that he has been speaking with the group of players, including Steve Thompson, who are pursuing legal action over early-onset dementia.

Cudmore himself is suing Clermont for their alleged failure to protect him as a player after he suffered a suspected concussion during a Champions Cup match in 2015, but was allowed to return to the field of play.

The Canadian insists that the legal case isn’t about making money but hopes it prompts improvements surrounding the treatment of head injuries in the sport and lent support to Thompson’s case.

“I’ve known about this process over the last six months, and the guys behind it.

“I’ve been speaking to them, not advising but helping along the way. Clearly it’s shocking for most people; for people inside the game not so much.

“It’s very alarming that now the wider public understand the depth that this problem really does go and how we need to do a hell of a lot better as professional sportsmen, as coaches, administrators, to protect players a lot better.

“I’d say good luck [to them]. Because I’ve done an incredible amount of research and the governing bodies haven’t done enough work in taking the data on, which is pretty much from the mid-70s,” Cudmore said.

Cudmore’s personal experience with concussion

Cudmore explained why he feels so strongly about head injuries in rugby, describing the incident with Clermont that he is currently suing over.

“In my case I was puking in the changing room in the 67th minute of a game. Do you really need to put the player back on? Well they did, they allowed me to go back on and unfortunately that’s not good enough.

“In this day and age, if you do that with a young child you can kill them and we’ve had numerous instances of this happening and nobody should get to that point in their sporting careers and be that injured by someone’s negligence,” Cudmore commented.

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