Dale Finucane’s Retirement Shows The Games Changing Attitude Towards Concussion

Cronulla Sharks forward Dale Finucane has retired from Rugby League with immediate effect due to repeated concussions.

Finucane played 251 games during his career in which he played for the Canterbury Bulldogs, the Melbourne Storm and the Cronulla Sharks. He also played State Of Origin football for New South Wales in 5 games.

Rugby League has been working over decades to change the rules of the game, as well as the treatment players receive when it comes to concussion. From the late 1970’s when the brutal, thuggish acts on the field were stamped out of the game with suspensions, to the introduction of the Head Injury Assessment during games a few years ago, Rugby League has tried to stay on the front foot and keep up to date with information that comes to hand about the effects that concussion has on players.

With the discovery that some players who had played Rugby League had suffered with CTE (Something that can only be diagnosed right now in an autopsy), the Rugby League world has had an understanding that more has to be done to try to reduce the risk of concussion on the football field.

One of the main reasons for the NRL to bring in changes to the line drop out rules was to try and cut down on the number of long charges towards the defensive line that you see from a long drop out.

It has also been suggested we could see changes to Rugby League kickoffs, although this has been met with resistance.

In the past a player like Dale Finucane might have continued to play on. Keep in mind, Finucane will be walking away from money he could continue to earn in the game.

Overall, it shows how a lot of attitudes in the game have changed so much over time. It is a good thing for the sport, and the people that play it.

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