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Concussion debate
O'Driscoll's father fears for his son's future health
ESPN Staff
December 1, 2013
A dazed Brian O'Driscoll continues despite suffering from concussion against France in 2009 © Getty Images

Brian O'Driscoll's father has said he fears for his son's long-term health as he nears the end of a career in which he has sustained a number of concussions and blows to the head.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, Frank O'Driscoll, a former Ireland international and now a GP in Dublin, said his son's long career may have consequences in later life.

"Am I worried how Brian will be in 20 years? Absolutely," he told the newspaper. "You only have to go back to boxing and the dementia that has been caused there. The more I read about it, the more logical I find it that this is occurring in rugby. The chemical changes that occur after a bang to the head are absolutely frightening.

"It's horrible to watch your son be concussed. The time [last season] against France when he talked his way back on to the pitch … that was outrageous, it was nonsense. There are vested interests in this, but it is amazing how medically qualified people can make decisions that, in my opinion, are absolutely crazy and, in many cases, totally wrong.

'The good thing about last week's game against the All Blacks was that Brian was taken off, he was assessed properly and not allowed back on. I agreed 100% with that. Brian did not agree with it [at the time] because he was trying to get back on but the players should have no say whatsoever in it. "

O'Driscoll senior echoed comments make to ESPN by JPR Wiliams earlier this week that the size of the players is changing the game. "[They've] become bigger and stronger therefore the hits are bigger. If you're getting hit after hit, you're going to get these consequences."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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