“Rugby is walking headlong, eyes closed, in a dire situation,” says Ryan Jones after revealing he was diagnosed with dementia praecox aged 41; he calls on the sport to take more preventive measures now
Last update: 07/16/22 11:21 p.m.
Ex-Wales rugby captain Ryan Jones has been diagnosed with dementia praecox aged 41.
Jones has 75 international caps and was a member of the British and Irish Lions squad that toured New Zealand in 2005.
He was diagnosed with probable chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) last December.
In an interview with the Sunday timeJones said: “I feel like my world is falling apart.
“I’m really scared because I have three children and three stepchildren and I want to be a fantastic father.
“I’ve lived 15 years of my life as a superhero and I’m not. I don’t know what the future holds.”
Jones had retired from rugby in 2015 and stepped down as performance director at the Welsh Rugby Union in October 2020.
“I’m a product of a process-oriented environment and human performance. I’m not able to perform the way I could, and I just want to live a happy, healthy, normal life,” he said. .
“I feel like it’s been taken away from me and there’s nothing I can do…I can’t train harder, I can’t play the referee, I don’t know what the rules of the game are anymore. Game.”
Jones revealed that after suffering from depression, he began to have short-term memory problems and became forgetful.
“It terrifies me because I don’t know if two years from now we’re sitting here and these episodes are one week, two weeks, or permanent,” Jones said.
“It’s the fear, it’s the part that never goes away. It’s the part that I can’t get rid of.
“Every episode I have leaves a bit of a legacy too. Everything we cancel, every relationship I poison or have no time for, just makes it a little harder to deal with,” a- he added.
“I don’t know how to slow this down, make it stop, what to do.”
Last month, the Alzheimer’s Society partnered with organizations such as the Rugby Players Association to provide a permanent way to refer any past and present player or manager who has been diagnosed with dementia or is caring for. loved one.
Jones received an MBE in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honors List for his services to rugby union and charity fundraising. Although he has maintained he would not change the experience of ‘living the dream’ of playing for Wales, he believes the sport needs to do more to take preventative action.
“He walks headlong, eyes closed, in a dire situation,” he said.