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Should schools ban "harmful contact" in rugby?

Rugby ball

Published at 2:19pm 26th September 2017.

Experts want schools to ban what they call "harmful contact" in rugby.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, they recommend tackles and scrums should be prohibited on school playing fields.

Academics say concussion can be linked to premature death, and a head injury increases the risk of dementia.

Maria Walters - Co-founder of The Brain Collective in Harrogate - says the subject is extremely important: "We've recently been working with a Doctor out in the States, who has spent the last 25 years looking at concussion in both children and adults in high contact sport.

"What we now know is that certain levels of concussion and repeated concussion does alter how our brain's behave.

"It's getting clubs and schools to think about having a concussion coordinator, someone who is educated in it and having a post-injury programme in place to get young people back into the game safely.

The Department for Education also says advice is available for schools on how to reduce the risk of injury.

However, World Rugby says there's no new evidence to change current policies.