"Dark cloud" - Rugby legend calls for England star to get six-month ban - Ruck

“Dark cloud” – Rugby legend calls for England star to get six-month ban

Former rugby player Alix Popham feels “lucky to be alive” after being kicked in the head while swimming during Sunday’s Ironman event in Tenby.

The ex-Wales flanker, who was diagnosed with early onset dementia at 40, was taking part in the west Wales event to raise money for a brain injury charity.

He was rushed to hospital after feeling dazed and “constantly vomiting”.

Speaking to the Express, he admitted he’s excited for the Rugby World Cup, but believes the sport needs major changes.

“I don’t like using the word concussion,” says Popham. “It softens what has actually gone on – which is a traumatic brain injury.

“For Owen Farrell to only get a four-game ban with his history…I like him as a player and as a competitor but he hasn’t learned from his previous bans,

“Kids are watching that with their mums and dads thinking: ‘well if he can get away with it so can I’ so it’s not a good look for rugby as a whole.”

He advocates for implementing six-month bans for repeat offenders, mandatory 28-day stand-downs for players who have been knocked out, and a fresh perspective on replacements.

He continued: “South Africa bring on seven huge mutants against tired players during games,” he said. “I’m not having a go at South Africa – they are just playing within the rules – but I think substitutions should only be for injuries.”

England team to play Argentina: (Predicted)

15. Freddie Steward

14. Elliot Daly

13. Joe Marchant

12. Ollie Lawrence

11. Jonny May