Former players sue the LNR and the FFR

They accuse the French rugby authorities of not having sufficiently protected them against concussions. Former players who played in France are preparing to file legal action, AFP informed their lawyers on Wednesday.

This procedure against the French Federation (FFR) and the League (LNR), which echoes that intended in December 2020 by a hundred former rugby players against World Rugby and the English and Welsh Federations, is “a first in France”, according to Nino Arnaud, lawyer at the Marseille bar, confirming information from the sports daily The Team.

Dementia praecox, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease

Among these fifteen former players who played in the French championships between 2003 and 2022, describing the Canadian internationals Jamie Cudmore and the New Zealander Carl Hayman, already at the origin of the collective procedure initiated in the United Kingdom. Amateur hooker Quentin Garcia or Rennes second line Sarah Chlagou are also among the witnesses.

In a letter translated on November 18 to the FFR and the LNR, of which AFP has read, Maître Arnaud and his associate at the Paris bar, Foucauld Prache, announce that they are competent to testify against these two instances “an action for liability” before the administrative court of Paris. According to them, “the occurrence of the various disorders affecting” their clients, such as permanent brain damage, dementia praecox, post-traumatic epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease or depression, “could have been interrupted”, or at least reduced, if the FFR and the LNR, organizers of the competitions in France, “had fulfilled their respective obligations of security, prudence, diligence and information”.

“What they all want is for rugby to remain rugby and for it not to go to its own ruin: because if we continue like that to deny the seriousness of the phenomenon, one day or another, we will no longer be able to play rugby as we currently practice it, ”explained the lawyer to AFP.

The FFR and the LNR “smoking act of this approach”

“The health of players, amateurs and professionals is the priority of French rugby authorities. Many actions, often cited as exemplary, have been undertaken for years at the international and national level to detect, reduce and take charge of concussions”, reacted the FFR and the LNR in a joint declaration addressed to AFP.

“The FFR, the LNR and World Rugby have been working on these issues for years with the utmost seriousness. The players’ approach, long since undertaken before other authorities, is of a legal nature. The FFR and the LNR will take note of this approach and will take the action they deem legitimate, ”they add.

According to a recent study by a team from the University of Glasgow, former international rugby players are two and a half times more likely than the general population to develop neurodegenerative diseases.

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