Topics:  all blacks, irpa, mental health, new zealand, rugby union

IRPA ranks mental health of players as leading concern

DEPRESSION among rugby players has been ranked alongside concerns about concussion and the judiciary as the biggest issues facing the game.

At an international rugby conference in Dublin, International Rugby Players' Association boss Rob Nichol said the mental health of players should be addressed before the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

"... it is our belief that the prevalence of depression and feelings of despair is significant amongst professional athletes. The mental health of the professional rugby player, both during and after his playing career, is an area we need to put more resource and focus into," Nichol said.

He also said the IRPA wanted to rid the game of the inconsistencies in the judicial system.

"The objective will be to ... suspend for the appropriate number of identified games, and therefore the number of weeks that encompasses those games, not the other way around which seems to confuse everyone," he said.

That was highlighted recently by the seven-week suspension handed to All Blacks hooker Andrew Hore that will see him miss one match.



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