Former England flanker Lewis Moody has sympathy for his ex-teammate Steve Thompson, who is holding the sport’s governing bodies responsible for concussion-related impairments, but will not consider litigation without proof of medical negligence.
World Cup-winning hooker Thompson said this week that he had no memory of the 2003 final against Australia and, along with other former players, is looking to hold authorities accountable for failures to protect players from long-term mental issues.
Moody said the lawsuit demonstrated that further change was needed but that he would feel “uncomfortable going after people” such as medics who worked to the best of their knowledge.
“My decisions were my decisions, I was a lunatic on a rugby pitch. I did put myself in harm’s way for the benefit of my team because that was the way I enjoyed playing the game. That was the only way I could be,” Moody told The Times .
“I always felt supported by the medical team because I felt we were operating with the knowledge and information we knew, it was just different. I would never be out for suing individuals.”
Former Wales flanker and captain Sam Warburton echoed Moody’s sentiments, saying a lack of knowledge of the symptoms during his playing days was to blame.
“Like a lot of players, I did not know that you could be concussed without being knocked unconscious,” Warburton wrote in his column.
“In fact, that is how most concussions come about. But as players we just did not know that back then.
“We still do not know everything and we may have to wait for the brains of some of the first professional players to be analysed when they pass away for that. But we know a lot more.”
Moody played 71 times for England between 2001 and 2011.
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)
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