RUGBY union’s off-field fight over brain injuries allegedly caused by the sport, which involves current Bradford Salem head coach Neil Spence and Bingley-born former England international Dan Scarbrough, continues.

That is because Rylands Law have now issued proceedings on behalf of 55 amateur rugby union players against World Rugby, the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Welsh Rugby Union Ltd (WRU).

These claimants, as with their professional rugby union peers, contend that these defendants were negligent in failing to take reasonable action in order to protect players from permanent injury caused by repetitive concussive and sub-concussive blows.

Many players now suffer from various irreversible neurological impairments, including early onset dementia, CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), post-concussion syndrome, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and motor neurone disease.

The allegations raised by the claimants include the failure by the defendants to take adequate steps to inform, educate or warn the claimants about the risks of permanent brain damage, the failure to reduce the amount of contact allowed in training and the failure to reduce the number of matches per season/year.

It is also alleged the defendants failed to act on the knowledge that concussions often have delayed presentation and that the five or 10-minute assessments introduced during a match were wholly inadequate, and that they failed to devise and implement a brain injury specific player passport system.

Other alleged failures were the inability to ensure that the claimants were subjected to regular monitoring, such as by way of MRI, and medical examination to check for evidence of changes to the structure of the brain, as well as no commissioning of adequate research into the effects of multiple concussive and sub-concussive impacts on the brain and the prevention of permanent brain injury.

Over 25 former players in this concussion litigation have spoken out publicly about their brain injuries from playing the sport, including Scarbrough, Spence and former World Cup winner with England, Steve Thompson.

Rylands represents over 250 rugby union players with brain damage, as well as over 100 players in Rugby League as part of a separate but similar potential claim against the Rugby Football League (RFL).