Rugby League is always going to involve a certain amount of risk, as is the nature of the sport.
But for one of Super Leagues greatest ever players, the game has never been safer.
Kevin Sinfield was speaking to BBC’s Desert Island Discs as he prepares to run seven ultra-marathons from Edinburgh to Manchester in just a week with the mammoth task culminating at the World Cup final on November 19th.
Sinfield is taking on this challenge to raise money for MND as his former teammate and friend Rob Burrow continues to fight the disease.
Speaking around the safety of the game, Sinfield had this to say;
“Governing bodies have worked really hard to take away as many head collisions as they can, and then how these head collisions are monitored and look after, the protocols that are in place now are better.
“I’d say it’s safer now than it’s ever been to play sport.
“However, there will continue to be head collisions. If we took all contact away from rugby and it became something very different to what it looks like today, we’d have a lot of people stop playing.”
Sinfield’s comments regarding the safeguarding on players during the modern game come shortly after over 75 ex-players plan to take legal action against the RFL for negligence during their careers.
They claim that many of them suffer from neurological diseases such a dementia and Parkinson’s which is a result of negligence due to RFL’s failure to protect players.
The RFL released a statement regarding the allegations stating;
“The RFL takes player safety and welfare extremely seriously and it has been desperately sad to hear of any players’ difficulties.
“Rugby League is a contact sport and, while there is an element of risk to playing any sport, player welfare is always of paramount importance.
“As a result of scientific knowledge, the sport of Rugby League continues to improve and develop its approach to concussion, head injury assessment, education, management and prevention across the whole game.
“We will continue to use medical evidence and research to reinforce and enhance our approach.”