Former Wales captain Ryan Jones reveals dementia diagnosis

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Ryan Jones says he feels like his "world is falling apart" after the former Wales captain was diagnosed with early-onset dementia at the age of 41.

Jones revealed he was given a diagnosis of probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) last December.

The back row won 75 caps for Wales and three for the British and Irish Lions on the 2005 tour of New Zealand in an illustrious career.

Jones said in an interview with The Sunday Times: "I feel like my world is falling apart.

"I am really scared. I lived 15 years of my life like a superhero and I'm not. I don't know what the future holds.

"I am a product of an environment that is all about process and human performance. I'm not able to perform like I could. I just want to lead a happy, healthy, normal life.

"I feel that's been taken away and there is nothing I can do."

The ex-Ospreys skipper says he was initially diagnosed with depression after retiring seven years ago and started to have short-term memory issues, while also becoming forgetful.

He added: "I've got three children and three step-children and I want to be a fantastic dad. I can't train harder, I can't play the referee. I don't know what the rules of the game are anymore.

"We don't know where to go, where to find support. We haven't got any friends in this space. It terrifies me. That's the fear. That's the bit that never leaves. That’s the bit I can’t shake off."

Jones says more must be done to prevent an increasing number of players from suffering.

"It [rugby union] is walking headlong with its eyes closed into a catastrophic situation," he added.

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