Professional players are far heavier and extremely fit, meaning any collision is potentially more harmful to the body and the head, writes John Ridout in sentiments echoed by Peter Jones and Graham Thomas
Your series of features on the early onset of dementia among the first tranche of professional rugby players has been very moving. However, your summing up of the increased dangers of professional rugby (Q&A: Is rugby union more dangerous than we thought?, 8 December) perhaps overlooked one clear difference from the amateur game. Before the sport went professional, players were normal size and reasonably fit. Professional players are far heavier and extremely fit. This means any collision is potentially more harmful to the body and the head. Not so long ago, one professional player said that playing rugby was like being in a car crash every week.
East Hoathly, East Sussex
• As a longtime supporter and one-time player of rugby union, I was saddened to read your article about Steve Thompson (Rugby World Cup winner Steve Thompson reveals he has dementia and joins landmark legal case, 8 December). The professional game is now played by 15 extremely fast and well-built players, which greatly increases the chances of injury and long-term health issues. Has anybody considered the idea of limiting the total weight of a team? This could make it both a safer and more enjoyable game to watch.
Source: Rugby – The Guardian