England prop Joe Marler has spoken out about his concerns about dementia, claiming that one concussion caused him to forget he had children.
“First of all, it’s awful for Ryan to be told that and be going through that and it’s kind of struck a chord with me because it’s been quite well spoken about in rugby over the last few years with all of the discoveries that they’ve had with concussions and the relation to it all,” said Marler.
“I’ve just buried my head in the sand, to be honest because it scares me.
“I remember getting knocked out a couple of seasons ago – a big, big blow when I was trying to tackle Billy Vunipola. I was out cold and the next thing I remember was being in the physio room and the kit man came in.
“He was like, ‘alright mate, is your wife here?’, ‘Yeah she is’.
“He said, ‘what about the kids?’, I went ‘pardon?, and he said ‘has she brought the kids?’.
“I just paused and broke down and I had no recollection of having kids and it just really scared the life out of me.
“It all came back together and it happens. Those concussions happen in rugby, it’s a contact sport.
“Since those moments I just ignore it and bury my head in the sand, but the more it comes out and the more apparent it becomes in the sport, the more boys are getting diagnosed with this stuff, it’s sad.”