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Thursday, 15 October 2009

Football gives you brain damage?

A medical study in the United States has issued some pretty worrying results for the National Football League (NFL) and all high contact sports such as boxing.

William Reville of the Irish Times discusses the medical side of the report and it's possible effects in detail here.

Well worth a read, he is objective and brings to light the most important aspects of this report.
At the same time it is also quite worrying when he brings this report to Irish sports, namely Rugby.

For some years it has been noted that rugby players at the highest level all over the world are getting bigger.
Personally, I noticed it the most when Munster played Wasps in the semi-final of the Heineken Cup in 2004. Wasps' players such as Josh Lewsey a winger that day, seemed to be the physical build of David Wallace, Munster's flanker rather then John Kelly the winger.

Notably, Eddie O'Sullivan saw this as a key issue for the Irish national squad and started to implement off-season programs in Spala , Poland to, for want of a better word, beef up the Irish players.
The change was most notable in player's like Ronan O'Gara or Peter Stringer for Munster, and maybe Gordan Darcy for Leinster.

Also, it clearly improved results on the field. This trend however, has trickled down the grades to school boy level. At what age is it acceptable to be pumping young players fuel of dietary supplements or creatine?

I know it has not been 100% confirmed but reports of creatine and it's effect on the liver are widely known. As much as the NZRFU will deny it, the supplement robbed the game of one of the best wingers in the world in Jonah Lomu.

This is not the first time the size of players debate has come to the fore, but this new report from the States has already caused the NFL to conduct reviews on 120 retired players. Maybe it is times for the ERC or the IRFU and RFU to look into something similar?

PS. The line in the report about multiple concussions has this author pretty spooked!

1 comment:

  1. Great article....!!!Nice to know about new things with helping concept.