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Concussion will always pose our sport with major problems: Price

 

David Denton
David Denton

By Andy Newport

Scotland scrum-half Ali Price admits rugby may never solve its concussion problem.

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The topic of player safety has been thrust back into the spotlight following the announcement that Price's former international team-mate David Denton has been forced to retire on the advice of doctors.

The 42-times-capped Scotland forward has not featured for club side Leicester or Gregor Townsend's national team since a serious head knock during an English Premiership clash with Northampton last October.

The trauma has left the 29-year-old with feeling pressure in his skull as well as visual disturbances, leading a London brain expert to warn Denton that he would be putting his long-term health at risk if he resumed his career.

Price has sympathy for Denton but hailed World Rugby for leading the way in its efforts to remove the dangers of concussion from the sport, but with brutal collisions a fundamental part of the modern game, he admits the risk will never totally be removed.

"It's always going to be an issue," admitted Price in Nagasaki, where Townsend's team are preparing for Sunday's World Cup opener with Ireland. "It's a contact sport and sadly these things are going to happen.

"Guys can get their head caught on the wrong side and with boys running faster and being stronger, if you're caught in an awkward position sometimes these flash knockouts happen.

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"The thing with the brain is that everyone deals with it differently - and you've only got one of them, don't you?

"Some boys can be back in a week, feel okay and pass all the protocols. Others take a lot longer. But I think the steps rugby takes to protect the head is the best of any team sport in terms of removing players from the pitch to get tested and then the follow-up protocols.

"World Rugby are leading the way in trying to minimise how often it happens."

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