My son is only 12 yet he has already suffered a fractured skull and a concussion from playing rugby. After his second serious head injury last year, I told him he had to stop playing. That was hard, both for him and for me but I was adamant: I wasn’t going to let him risk another serious head injury, not at his age when his skull was still growing, his brain was still developing and we had no idea what the long-term effects of such injuries might be. But don’t, please, leap to the conclusion that this is another one of those articles bemoaning the dangers of rugby and calling for tackles to be banned or for the game to be sanitised out of existence, because it isn’t.
I played rugby for 15 years. I have reported on the game, intermittently, for two decades and I’m now a qualified rugby coach, coaching – among others – my youngest son, who continues to play the game and enjoys it.