Retirement at 31 years old

The retirement age has stirred up a lot of discussion in France this year.

For professional rugby players, it’s not so much the retirement age that’s at issue, but rather their physical health, especially when it leads to early retirement.

This is the case with Sébastien Vahaamahina (whose club is Clermont), 31, who just announced his retirement from his professional career following another concussion, the tenth recorded in six years.

However, he is not leaving on a whim as his last concussion was a few months ago.

While the rules have been strengthened in recent years by various organizations, especially with the introduction of a “concussion protocol” and more thorough medical follow-ups, concussions remain numerous and their consequences lifelong.

Many lawsuits against professional bodies and clubs in France are underway or foreseeable, similar to the lawsuits filed in the United States in 2012 against the American football league and those currently pending in the United Kingdom, also in rugby.

In other words, battles on the rugby field will now be followed by legal battles off the field.