Cudmore summons Clermont over concussions

Wed, 07 Jun 2017 20:41
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NEWS: Canadian lock Jamie Cudmore summoned former club Clermont to summary court proceedings over being forced to play despite two head knocks.

Cudmore, who played for the current Top 14 champions from 2005-16, has asked for medical expertise to decide if he was the victim of two concussions and if he was fit to go back on to the pitch.

"Cudmore wanted to wait until the Top 14 Final had taken place before acting," said the Portjoie lawyers firm.

"This is not an adversarial procedure. His sole motivation is the welfare of players."

Cudmore argues that in the European Cup semifinal against Saracens in April 2015, he failed the concussion protocol tests but was forced to play on because of injury to one of his teammates.

"I walked back into the changing room and I hadn't even got my boot off when I heard the door open and the doc come back in and say: 'Jamie, Jamie, how are you? Sebby [second row partner Sebastien Vahaamahina] is not good. Can you come back on? You gotta come back on'. I was like: 'Yeah, sweet,' and tied my lace and went straight back out," Cudmore said in quotes used by the Daily Mail newspaper and appearing in his summons.

Two weeks later, the Canadian enforcer suffered another head knock in the European Cup Final against Toulon, but once again continued playing.

After blacking out in training the following week, Cudmore was stood down for three months as he battled what he says were post-concussion symptoms including mood swings, sensitivity to light, lethargy and nausea.

Clermont reacted by saying: "It is not, as has been mentioned, a 'complaint against the club', but merely a procedure aimed at soliciting a medical opinion.

"ASM Clermont Auvergne will make transparent all factual and objective elements that the designated expert could ask for," the club said, adding that the player then went on to compete in the 2015 World Cup and sign a two-year contract with Oyonnax.

"The problem of concussions, which have been much debated recently in rugby, is not a new concern for the club. For years, Clermont has been working on the issue and is at the forefront of innovation in that field."

Agence France-Presse