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Bernard Jackman: Dragons coach concerned by painkiller use among players

Bernard Jackman has had to care for a string of player injuries since taking over as Dragons coach this season

Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman is concerned about players becoming addicted to painkillers.

He says a regulation industry is contributing to a upward thrust in injuries among players and fears some are turning to drugs so they are able to play while injured.

“I’ve heard of a couple of cases of people having issues and addictions to painkillers, prescription drugs and non-prescription drugs,” Jackman said.

“That’s something that obviously we need to be careful of.”

Jackman had the bare minimum of 22 fit players available for final weekend’s Skilled14 derby at Cardiff Blues, with 29 on the casualty file when he named his facet forward of wingers Jared Rosser and Ashton Hewitt had been moreover careworn out after breaking down forward of kick-off.

The former Ireland, Leinster and Connacht hooker took over at Dragons this season, having had previous coaching revel in in France with Grenoble.

As well as the problems of players misusing drugs, Jackman moreover problems to new laws being trialled this season that he believes are contributing to injuries.

Skilled14 highlights: Cardiff Blues 43-29 Dragons

“We don’t want people to be taking painkillers [to be able to play], we need to make sure our players understand that and also we have the systems and environment in place that they can actually get that recovery,” said the 41-year-old.

“There seems to be a crisis in this day and age, to be honest.

“It’s now not simply right here, it sort of feels one thing to do with the brand new legislation trial across the breakdown that places extra players on their toes – there is much less area and the collisions appear larger.”

The laws that have affected the breakdown allow a ruck to be formed by a single player over the ball and on their feet – as opposed to a minimum of one from each personnel that was once prior to now required – a player can best play the ball from their own facet of the tackle, and a defender can’t kick the ball out of a breakdown.

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