70 former players set to sue rugby unions over head injuries

Unions around the world could be set for a landmark legal battle according to reports

Rugby could be set for a landmark legal battle, with 70 former players reportedly ready to sue various world unions over health problems they have suffered as a result of head injuries.

Reports in The New Zealand Herald and The Daily Telegraph suggest 70 former players from around the world have asked a British law firm to act on their behalf.

The group, which includes former Rugby League players, are suing unions over the cognitive issue they have faced resulting from concussions.

41-year-old Carl Hayman, who won 41 caps for the All Blacks, confirmed to The New Zealand Herald he is one of the players who has been in touch with lawyers.


The former Kiwi prop, who also played for Newcastle and Toulon, said: “From what I understand, it’s a pretty ever-growing list of [players]. I think it’s going to be something quite substantial that’s going to come from it.”

The law suit would be a first for rugby. In American Football, the NFL agreed a €765 million settlement in 2013 after 4,500 former players sued the league, accusing it of concealing the dangers of concussions.