Former Wales captain Sam Warburton has warned that a professional player could die on the pitch unless rugby union takes measures to improve safety.
Warburton’s autobiography Open Side, is being serialised and he has written of his concerns about rugby’s fatality rate in recent years.
The 30‑year‑old cited examples including Nicolas Chauvin, an 18‑year‑old academy player at Stade Francais who died after his neck was broken in a tackle last December.
Warburton says rugby is just a game and it is not worth dying for.
He says if something is not done soon, then a professional player will die during a game, in front of the TV cameras, and only then will people demand that steps must be taken. It will be reaction rather than anticipation.
Warburton, who retired in July last year having failed to return to peak fitness after neck and knee surgery, says officials should crack down on illegal bindings to spot dangerous clean outs at rucks