MORE than 70 Welsh rugby players are currently suing World Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union over their care and safety when playing.

They are part of a group of 295 former rugby union players who are suing World Rugby, the Welsh Rugby Union and England’s Rugby Football Union for allegedly failing to put reasonable measures in place to protect the health and safety of players.

It comes after many of the former players involved were diagnosed with neurological injuries including early onset dementia, motor neuron disease and potentially chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

A number of them – such as former players Adam Hughes, Alix Popham

The list of players was revealed on Friday, December 1 after a hearing at London’s High Court where judge Jeremy Cook ruled the former players will have to wait until 2024 for their application to put in a group litigation order (GLO) that would allow the individual lawsuits to be managed together.

The claimants range from the age of 22 to 80 in the list that was published by law firm Rylands Garth who is handling the cases.

76 players from Wales are amongst those named in the lawsuit, including a number of high-profile internationals.

The players from Wales are:

  • Adam Palfrey
  • Alix Popham
  • Andrew Coombs
  • Andrew Lamerton
  • Andrew Millward
  • Carl Hamans
  • Carwyn Jones
  • Craig Hawkins
  • Dafydd James
  • David Llewellyn
  • David Maddocks
  • Derwyn Jones
  • Emyr Lewis
  • Gareth Cull
  • Gareth Owen
  • Gareth Price
  • Gareth Williams
  • Gavin Evans
  • Gavin Thomas
  • Geraint Thomas
  • Hal Luscombe
  • Hywel Jenkins
  • Ian Gough
  • Ian Jones
  • James Griffiths
  • Jamie Ringer
  • Jamie Robinson
  • Jonathan Ross Coombs
  • Lenny Woodward
  • Lou Reed
  • Lyndon Bateman
  • Mark Perego
  • Matthew Dwyer
  • Matthew Pewtner
  • Michael Hook
  • Michael Powell
  • Nigel Bezani
  • Paul Clapham
  • Paul Pook
  • Paul Smithson
  • Rhys Gill
  • Rhys James
  • Rhys Thomas
  • Robson Blake
  • Rory Pitman
  • Rory Watts-Jones
  • Ryan Jones
  • Saul Nelson
  • Simon Gardiner
  • Stephen Winn
  • Deian Thomas
  • Glen Webbe
  • Mike Watkins
  • Non Evans
  • Paul Ringer
  • Sean Gilbertson
  • Shaun Gustard
  • Trefor Evans
  • Brendan Lyons
  • Christopher Stevens
  • Colin Charvis
  • Darren Morris
  • David Bishop
  • Gavin Henson
  • Ian Greenslade
  • Joseph Grabham
  • Joshua Rhys James
  • Leighton Jones
  • Lewis Rawlins
  • Matthew Jones
  • Morgan Stoddart
  • Nathan Strong
  • Scott Hicks
  • Wayne Booth

They join a raft of other players including former Scotland international Sean Lamont, and former England internationals Steve Thompson and Phil Vickery.

A joint statement from World Rugby, the WRU and the RFU after the hearing read: “Whilst today’s case management hearing was necessarily about legal process, we must not forget about the people and players at the heart of this case.

“Legal action prevents us reaching out to support the players involved, many of whom are named publicly for the first time today.

“But we want them to know that we care deeply about their struggles, that we are listening and that they are members of the rugby family.

“The court’s ruling for the second time that the claimants’ solicitors must provide information previously asked for is a positive step.

“Despite the court’s order from June 2023 the court noted that there was a ‘gaping hole’ in the evidence provided by the claimants’ legal team.

“The further delay to the case is regrettable and the players’ lawyers seemingly prioritising media coverage over meeting their legal obligations, is challenging for all concerned – not least the players themselves. Player welfare is rugby’s top priority and will continue to be our top priority.”