Ex-player reveals how players would “cheat the system” with head injuries in the past

One of the big discussions in rugby league at present centres around the lawsuit against the RFL by ex-players over the damaging long term effects of the head injuries they picked up.

Meanwhile, this week Stevie Ward and Tom Johnstone brought attention to the topic as they discussed the impact of head injuries on them.

Former Bradford Bulls and Wigan Warriors winger Karl Pryce has had his say.

“It’s a really tricky one. Don’t get me wrong, there have been times, when you’re in it, you’re in it and you don’t want to come off the field and you don’t want to let your team down or you get back on the field because your coach says he needs you when you have just been knocked out,” he told Serious About Rugby League.

“But luckily enough that’s now changing. It’s so difficult. I understand where they’re coming from. Would I do it? No I wouldn’t but I understand why they would.

“If they have been put into a situation where they have been forced to go back on without the information that the coaches and doctors knew, and the implications of it.

“When I was playing this stuff was happening but we weren’t made aware to the lasting damage but now it’s common knowledge.

“Before we used to do a cognitive test and you could cheat the system. It was because we didn’t know. You would take a little bit longer in case you had a head knock and you needed to pass it so you didn’t give your best score but now I would know I have the information.

“When you get knocked out, it’s brain trauma. We didn’t get that information but now it’s there for them in black and white and everyone knows it and it’s black and white and everyone knows it.

“Those guys with the law suit, I get it but personally I knew what I was signing up to. I understood the implications and the element of risk when you step onto the field but there is an element of risk in everything you do.”

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