When Bobbie Goulding and a number of other former rugby league stars launched their petition to sue the RFL for negligence on concussion issues, the sport stood back and gasped.
Concussion had been part and parcel of rugby league since the sport began, but here was a group of around 50 former professionals ready to sue the governing body for negligence surrounding the issue.
Goulding has been the front man for the campaign and spoke to Sky Sports about just how easy it was to get a concussion pass.
“There was a cognitive assessment later on in my career, we started doing these cognitive tests in 1995 or 1996,” Goulding said.
“If they are done properly there should have been doctor or physio present to supervise and there wasn’t.
“The boys used to get the password and pass it onto their teammates and the teammate used to do it for them as they didn’t think they would pass it.
“That’s how easy it was to get way with it.”
Lawyer, Richard Boardman of Rylands Legal, said he is representing 50 former professional rugby league players aged from 20 to 50 all of whom are showing symptoms of potential neurological complications.
It’s alleged the RFL failed in its duty of care to introduce and enforce rules regarding the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of actual or suspected concussive and sub-concussive injuries.
Boardman has since spoken out about why he is going ahead with such a move alongside the players.
“The vast majority of the former players we represent love the game and don’t want to see it harmed in any way,” Boardman said.
“They just want to make it safer so current and future generations don’t end up like them. Younger players such as Stevie Ward, Rob Burrow and Sam Burgess have spoken publicly about their own brain damage, so these issues aren’t restricted to older generations.
“This is why we’re asking the RFL to make a number of immediate, relatively low-cost changes to save the sport, such as limiting contact in training and extending the return to play (after concussion).”