Why are Rugby Players Dying Young?


Posted by Ed 4 mths ago

The 1995 World Cup final was on television in the Springboks hotel next door to Disneyland.


Two thoughts resonated from seeing a replay of this epic game forever famous outside the confines of sport due to Nelson Mandela’s presence.


Firstly, most of the players wouldn’t look out of place in today’s heavyweight collisions; especially Kobus Wiese, Os du Randt and the Brooke brothers, alongside Francois Pienaar and Sean Fitzpatrick, each man bringing professional physicality to the last ever amateur tournament.


Secondly, it’s jarring to realise that five men who played that day have prematurely passed away. Jonah Lomu died in 2015 from a heart attack linked to a kidney disease while tragedy has hounded South Africa’s starting XV with Chester Williams and James Small both suffering fatal heart attacks this year, flanker Ruben Kruger died from brain cancer, age 39, in 2010 and legendary scrumhalf Joost van der Weisthuizen succumbed to the effects of motor neuron disease in 2017.


Four of the Springboks most iconic team gone before their mid-40s.

Other South African players from this era – Tinus Linee (motor neuron disease in 2014) and Wium Basson (liver cancer in 2001) – are also dead while Andre Venter has been a paraplegic since 2006 after being struck down with degenerative syndrome of the central nervous system known as transverse myelitis.

Please support our advertisers:


Ed 4 mths ago
Well now, there's an alarming new study about the dangers of pro football.
The study, by the University of North Carolina, suggests the average life expectancy of a retired NFL player is 55 years.
If that's true, NFL players can expect to lose about 25 years off their life, as a result of their profession.
Or perhaps as a result of years of intensive regimes of performance enhancing drugs including anabolic steroids? 

Please support our advertisers:
Ed 3 mths ago
How effective are Steroids?
In 1962, the San Diego Chargers trudged to a 4-10 record as coach Sid Gillman watched broken bodies and losses pile up. In 1963, he was ready to try things no one had ever done. 
During training camp, Gillman and his staff handed out little pink pills called Dianabol. It is an anabolic steroid.
"He brought intelligence to the game, counterintelligence," says Bob Petrich, a former defensive end who was a rookie in 1963. "He brought everything that you could bring, and he would bring a cannon to a gunfight."

Dianabol was the brand name for methandrostenolone, an artificial form of testosterone designed to promote healing and strength in patients. In 1963, it had been on the market for only five years, and used by U.S. weightlifters for fewer than three.

It was legal.

It wasn't banned by any athletic organization.

And as the players discovered, it worked.

The Chargers won the 1963 championship destroying the Boston Patriots 51-10.

Please support our advertisers:

< Back to main category

Login now