In the wake of litigation by former players experience post-career struggles due to concussion, All Blacks captain Sam Cane has shared he also has worries after having multiple concussion injuries during his career.
Cane is no stranger to the severity of health risks players expose themselves to, having also spent significant time on the sidelines after suffering a severe neck injury against the Springboks in 2018 which threatened more than just his playing career.
“Because of some of the knocks I’ve had it always worries you.” Cane said in comments published by Radio New Zealand.
The recently crowned All Blacks Player of the Year also credited New Zealand Rugby as being leaders in player welfare, saying he has never felt pressure to continue playing through a head knock.
“But I can speak truly when I say I’ve never felt pressure to play through a head knock. I think we’re particularly well looked after here in New Zealand and even hearing stories from guys in other parts of the world it would seem that New Zealand is leading the way in player welfare, even just with the resting of players etc.”
He says that it is one of the risks you accept playing the game but conceded the way the game is going means that risk is heightened more than ever.
“There’s always the potential for that (concussion) and it could be just around the corner, it’s just one of the risks we accept playing this game.
“The way the game has got so physical and so brutal with bigger and stronger athletes, it probably heightens the risk of these things more than in the past.”
Speaking his experience with the All Blacks in 2020, Cane highlighted the Bledisloe Cup win as a highlight of what was otherwise a tough year for most.
“I think the worst thing and not just for me personally has been Covid and the effect that it’s had on the country and the world; people being made redundant and in tough spots.
“Certainly remember during the lockdown and hearing about lots of people being made redundant and their lives changing and feeling like you can’t help.
“Also feeling lucky that it wasn’t affecting us too much but also feeling guilty that it didn’t affect us, if that makes sense. That was a pretty sh*tty feeling.”
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