Former Wales international, ex Ospreys wing and British and Irish Lion Shane Williams has revealed that he regularly suffers from headaches and poor concentration and suffered a “concussion-type injury” on average once every three games while playing rugby.
Williams’ admission came a little over a week after it was announced that Canadian international Jamie Cudmore is set to sue Top 14 Clermont Auvergne for not provide appropriate care in the aftermath of a head injury he sustained during his time with the club.
Cudmore previously spoke to Pundit Arena about his concerns in this area as more and more work is being done to highlight what is a growing area of concern in the game.
Williams’ comments also come as 23-year-old Brogan Watt underwent emergency brain surgery over the weekend and remains in a coma having complained of feeling unwell after playing a match in New Zealand.
“The game gave me everything but there are times when I’ve asked myself if the headaches and loss of concentration I sometimes experience now are down to the countless knocks to head I received in my career,” Williams wrote in his regular column for the Rugby Paper.
“Goodness knows how many bangs I took to the head, but the truth is that I probably suffered a concussion-type injury once every three games I played. That’s no exaggeration and over a 15-year career that’s a lot of bangs to the head.”
“I don’t know whether the problems I suffer now are a direct result of those head injuries but it’s little wonder we now hear of other former players suffering dizzy spells, headaches and memory loss. Countless times I was caught with a heavy blow that left me literally seeing stars, my mind went blank and I just didn’t know where I was for a moment.”
The sight of Williams racing through defences from across the globe was a common one during his time with Wales and as a respected and much loved former player of the game, his comments will once again – and correctly – draw more attention to an issue that is garnering significant attention at the moment.