Former England international Scarbrough joins concussion lawsuit

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(Reuters) - Former England international Dan Scarbrough said he has joined the class-action lawsuit against World Rugby, England's Rugby Football Union and the Welsh Rugby Union which alleges a failure to protect players from the risks caused by concussions.

The 43-year-old, who played twice for England, was diagnosed with early-onset dementia in December.

A letter of claim from Rylands Law on behalf of nine former players, who are suffering from concussion-related health problems, was sent to the governing bodies in December after England's World Cup-winning prop Steve Thompson said he had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia.

"The governing bodies have a responsibility to look after us post-retirement," Scarbrough said.

"One of the main drivers for this action ... is to help other former professionals gain access to elite level treatment and deal with injuries sustained throughout our careers, which is effectively cut off once you retire.

"I knew what it was doing to my body, I just didn't realise what it was doing to my brain.

"My biggest issue now is memory loss."

The governing bodies have said they take player safety "very seriously".

"Rugby is a contact sport and while there is an element of risk to playing any sport, rugby takes player welfare extremely seriously and it continues to be our number one priority," they said in a joint statement in December.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)