Concerned Kirmond stresses need for player welfare work

Wakefield back rower Danny Kirmond feels that concern about player welfare has created a better situation when it comes to looking after the mental and physical well-being of players.

But he still thinks there is work to be done, with player suicides, reports of criminal activity, and physical problems after retirement from playing, still highlighting issues.

“I think the fact that it gets reported is a step in the right direction on its own,” he told Love Rugby League.

“This is not something new, it’s something that’s happened for a long time, and before it never really got reported.

“Or if it did, the facts were masked over and it just looked like an accident or something else.

“The game has moved forward now. We have State of Mind around – they do some great work, they come round and talk to all the players.

“Sporting Chance is a clinic for people with any problems, and there’s a line you can call at any time.

“There’s player welfare officers at the clubs. So everyone is a lot more aware of these problems that can go on.

“It’s a shame that it happens, but I think it will always happen in rugby league.

“The clubs themselves are starting to take a bit more notice of it, and that is a good thing.

“It’s moving in the right direction, and has moved a long way forward over the last few years.”

Kirmond agrees with the assertion that there are too many games for Super League players as things are currently structured.

Clubs do, however, need to balance their desperate need for revenue with other factors, according to Kirmond.

“Injurywise, definitely it has an effect,” he added.

“You see players having shoulder reconstructions and things like that – they’re wear and tear injuries.

“If you’re playing in the forwards especially, you’re having a lot of collisions every game.

“Some games it’s 50 or 60 collisions.

“There’s been debate about the season being too long for about 10 years now, and this is why we’re not competing at international level.

“But a couple of years ago, they knocked two teams about of Super League, but then they added more games on the end, so you play everyone three times now, pretty much.

“It’s just one of those, where at the moment revenue is probably the most important thing in rugby league for clubs, and for the RFL as well.

“So, how do you make the season shorter but increase the revenue? It’s a difficult conundrum.

“Us, as players, we get paid for doing a job we love, but it is difficult, and it does lead to more injuries.”

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