NFL-style lawsuit and brain-injury concerns hang over Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup will take place against the backdrop of a concussion lawsuit that has similarities to one settled by the NFL in 2013 at a likely cost of more than $1 billion. A growing number of rugby players in their 30s and 40s contend the sport’s governing bodies failed to take reasonable action to protect them from repeated blows to the head during their careers. One leading neuropathologist says the upcoming World Cup in France “is the end of rugby as we know it.” That’s because the game is expected to change considerably to make it safer amid major concerns about the effect repeated knocks to the head can have on the brain.