England legend Phil Vickery has been reacting to the news that his former teammate Steve Thompson is taking legal action to World Rugby over negligence.
The front-rower, who teamed up with the hooker to help England win the 2003 Rugby World Cup, has revealed that this situation was inevitable.
“I’d love to say I’m surprised and I was shocked, but sadly this has been rumbling and the noises have been around this for a little while,” revealed Vickery to Talk Sport.
“I kind of knew it was coming, which is sad. To be honest I actually felt emotional, not just for Steve Thompson, but for the other guys because [it’s] people you played with and against.
“Steve and his family, knowing him, I’ve been through some special times with the guy and it’s worrying.”
He added: “If you ask my wife, does she want my son to play? The answer is absolutely 100 per cent ‘no’ because she’s seen what it’s done to me. But that’s mums and their boys.
“There is a balance. What I’d love is for us to be honest and be honest about the real impacts of it. It’s not going to go away. Let’s deal with it in the right way.
“We talk about the values of my sport – honesty and integrity – well let’s have some honesty and some of that is going to hurt.
“They are not going to be some nice conversations, but let’s have them, let’s sort them out and let’s lead the way.”
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Phil Vickery picks his dream XV and it’s just as fearsome as you’d expect
Take a look at who England legend Phil Vickery has picked in his all-time Dream Team.
1. Christian Califano – I watched him as a lad and he took front row play to a new level. His ball play was excellent and facing him was always a challenge.
2. Keith Wood – A bit of a kamikaze hooker so it was as difficult playing with him for the Lions as it was to play against him! But his work rate and carrying ability were phenomenal.
3. Martin Castrogiovanni – An awesome beast who is just an excellent ball carrier and still a great player.
4. Martin Johnson – A big hulk of a man, fearless and passionate and one of the best captains I ever played for – he just had the right brain for it. The way he put his body on the line was immense.
5. Ian Jones – He didn’t like the gym but he was the size of a hippo. He feared nobody on the field but off of it he would smile and shake your hand. It was so good to play alongside him at Gloucester.