Sam Underhill speaks out after being stood down from rugby due to multiple concussions - Ruck

Sam Underhill speaks out after being stood down from rugby due to multiple concussions

Sam Underhill has addressed concerns over his continued involvement in rugby despite enduring a concerning frequency of severe head injuries in recent years.

Join the RUCK’s WhatsApp community here and get the latest news sent straight to your messages.

Given his history of such injuries, it would be unsurprising if the 27-year-old opted to avoid discussing the matter altogether.

Yet, in a display of candor, Underhill confronted the issue directly. Acknowledging the extensive media coverage surrounding his setbacks, he admitted to feeling somewhat synonymous with concussion.

Nonetheless, he unequivocally conveyed his stance on the matter in a recent statement.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Underhill, who is set to become a Dad in the next few months, said: “I get a lot of people on social media giving me their opinions,

“When I have had a concussion, they say I should do this or do that, or it is not safe. Realistically the only people that matter are myself, my family and the medical professionals who are trained to look after me.

“But people have opinions on it, but I think to not speak about it, or ignore it, would be weirder.”

He added: “I can only speak to my own experience, but I would say caution is the name of the game with it now.

“I have never been put under any pressure to keep playing. I have had concussions and time out. But it is like any injury. If you get a broken leg, you sit out for three months. Instead of worrying that players are having a time out, it should be seen as a positive. ‘A player got concussed at the weekend. Ok that’s not great but what are they doing? They are not playing for the next four weeks. Good.’

“At the same time, the laws are constantly being reviewed to improve safety and, in my opinion, technique is a bit part of it and an underrated one. I previously put my head in places where I shouldn’t, and it was a bit reckless. And that is on me, not the game or medical stuff.

“If I put my head in front of the hip or the knee of a player who is 120kg then, sometimes anyone would come out in a bad way, it is not like it is a low threshold.

“I feel good. I have always been well looked after and I would like to think I have always looked after myself and been honest about it too. I have tried to do the right thing and set an example for other players if they do suffer head knocks.”

Regarding the ongoing lawsuit, Underhill said  he “was not around when those guys were playing” so can’t really comment.

Sam Underhill dream team

Beyond being a player, Underhill identifies himself as a passionate rugby fan. Recently, he unveiled his all-time dream team, showcasing his profound love for the sport.


Fullback: Matt Perry (England) – He proudly won 36 caps for England, three for the Lions in Australia in 2001, and made an eye watering 221 appearances scoring 561 points for Bath Rugby between 1995 and his enforced retirement in 2007, at that point the Club’s longest serving player.

Winger: Jonah Lomu (New Zealand) – Arguably one of the greatest players ever to step on a rugby field, Lomu was one of the most devastating players of his era. Weighing in at 120kg, Lomu was a formidable force on the wing, scoring 37 tries in 63 appearances for his New Zealand.

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales) – He is Wales’ most capped winger with 87 to his name. In 2008, Williams was selected as the World Rugby Player of the Year. Renowned for his pace, side-step and runs, he went on to become one of the best wingers in world rugby and one of Wales’ all-time greats.


Outside-centre: Conrad Smith (New Zealand) – He possessed an eye for the gap unlike many others in the game, frequently being seen ghosting past defences with ease. His quality handling and kicking game made him the complete attacker, frequently creating space for wingers around him. Smith retired from Test Rugby after the 2015 Rugby World Cup and ended his international career with 94 Test Caps, 2 Rugby World Cup Titles and 26 tries.

Inside-Centre: Jean de Villiers (South Africa) – De Villiers is deceptively quick, has superb handling skills and has an uncanny knack for intercept tries. In 2014 he became the fifth South African to reach 100 Test caps for the Springboks. He was named South African Rugby Player of the Year in 2008 and 2013.