A former Junior All Black is the first New Zealand rugby player to publicly commit his brain to science after being told he is living with the degenerative brain disease CTE.
John Williams, who played two years for the Junior ABs and Waikato in the late-70s and early 80s has been tested by a neuro-psychologist whose report indicated that the former lock has chronic traumatic encephalopathy. That assertion has since been endorsed by a physician, Williams told the Herald at his Taupo home.
CTE can only be definitively diagnosed post-mortem so Williams, 60, has notified his family that he wants to donate his brain for testing.
"It's very important to me. I want to do something to help," Williams said. "There will be a lot of old rugby players sitting around like me not really sure what's going on with them and don't know why they're doing silly things.
"I hope that by sharing my story some of them will not be embarrassed to seek help like I was for so long."
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