Former Wales rugby international Alix Popham discusses drive to make rugby safer

Former Welsh rugby international Alix Popham has said he still loves the sport despite his early onset dementia diagnosis.

It was recently revealed that Popham suffered 100,000 sub-concussions over the course of his 14-year career.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain as he launches a new charity, Popham said he still loved the sport but was campaigning to make it safer for present and future generations.

He said: "I love rugby. I've played rugby since the age of four, it's been my life.

"We just want to make this game safer. It's about protecting players, current and future, but also protecting the game we love and that's massively important that this game carries on because there are so many positives about rugby."

Popham is part of a group of ex-professional rugby players who have brought legal action against rugby bodies the Welsh Rugby Union, the Rugby Football Union and World Rugby.

He said he believed there was more they could do to make the sport safer for players.

"Some simple things like the training, reducing the amount of contact" he said.

"MOTs for players. Player passports, so when you move from club to club the clubs know your medical history.

"When I moved from Newport to was me remembering my history and [the clubs] need to know the small injuries you've had so they can look after you as best as possible."

In response to the legal action, World Rugby and the Welsh Rugby Union said: "We are deeply saddened to hear the brave personal accounts from former players.

"Rugby is a contact sport and while there is an element of risk to playing any sport player welfare is and always has been our number one priority."

They added that they would continue to use medical evidence and research to evolve their approach.

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