Welsh rugby star George North could risk becoming a victim of early onset dementia, according to an article in the Daily Mail.
George North not included in the Wales squad to face Scotland
Campaigner claims rugby union officials are waiting for a concussion tragedy following George North’s head injury
(Video) George North knocked out twice in Wales v England Six Nations clash but played on
The Mail spoke to former Scotland full back Rory Lamont, who told the paper that in his opinion North should not be allowed to play again before the World Cup later this year.
Lamont, who suffered from serious depression after being knocked out twelve times in his career, said he though North had been let down by the sport: “George has been let down. That a player can still be exposed to this at the top level is crazy. They’ve tipped him over the edge now because he’s had too many concussions in a short period of time. He should take six months out, but even then he will be increasingly susceptible”.
North was knocked out against New Zealand last November, twice more in the Six Nations tie with England last month, and again in a club game at the weekend when Northampton played Wasps. After the game he was quoted as saying “rugby is not tiddlewinks”, but Lamont thinks that’s the wrong attitude to take. “There’s this standard bravado attitude,” he said. “But this is brain damage we’re talking about and it can lead to early onset dementia.”
Rugby is unique in sport in that it does not require players to either leave to pitch or take a prolonged break from playing if knocked out. Football, boxing, hockey, and F1 all have guidelines in place.