One of the big talking points recently has been about the lawsuit some ex-players are taking against the RFL over head injuries which have sadly caused further health problems down the line.
It has divided a lot of former players and now former St Helens and Huddersfield Giants prop Keith Mason, who is used to being in the midst of the physical side of the game, has now had his say.
“The game is physical and always has been. We signed up and we knew what we were getting into. My sense of smell is really bad after breaking my nose twice. But that’s the nature of the game. It’s a physical game,” Mason said to Serious About Rugby League.
“Now people can certain stuff later in life like Bobbie getting dementia bless him. I really respect him and always admired him and that’s his case so I can’t say anything on that.
“But for me I wouldn’t. If something happened 10-15 years down the line, would I point the finger at the RFL? I don’t think I would.”
He also believes that clubs need better support for players to help with their mental health:
“Protecting players, setting something for players to go into. A lot of my ex-teammates from St Helens, Huddersfield and others, we have all been through some kind of depression or mental illness because you get let to their own devices.
“That’s where I think, if the players had someone to help them to save their money every six months, because a lot of players come from council estates, it’s a working man’s game.
“A lot get dragged up, we’re not union players, we don’t go to colleges so when young players earn money, they don’t know what to do with it so Super League needs someone whose fulltime job is to help with that so that they can invest when they are 25, 26 so they can have something that they can go into.
“That’s the pathway we’re using for Lukas [his son] having spoken to Kev Brown about it. If he works hard and achieves what he wants to achieve, hopefully when he is 25 or 26 he can set something up and have a second income.
“I would have a welfare person who is really smart on how to invest money and look after it and I think you need mental health coaches and everyone needs one at the club fulltime so they can speak to someone high up with that and I think every club needs that so you can speak to them every day.
“You think about the head knocks you have every week, your body isn’t meant to be smashed up so talking to someone and sitting down, life goes on as well there are stresses and pressures.”