PONTYPOOL RFC’s boss has expressed “disappointment” over a Newport MP’s comments about reforms to protect rugby and boxing competitors from serious brain injuries.

Newport West MP, Paul Flynn, was writing on his blog after an inquest into the death of former Pontypool RFC captain Cae Trayhern where his family believed concussions suffered during games were responsible for mental health problems leading to his suicide.

Mr Flynn said the case of the 37-year-old, as well as that of amateur boxer Kuba Moczyk, who died last month, after being knocked out in a fight in Great Yarmouth, showed the importance of reforming sports where participants risk repeated blows to the head.

“We must not repeat past tragedies,” he said. “Past ignorance of the risk is understood, present ignorance is not.”

“Both sports should now reform their rules or a new generation will shun them both as spectators and participants.”

However, Pontypool RFC’s chief executive officer, Ben Jeffreys, responded to the blog on Twitter, slamming the MP’s “misguided view" that “rugby is presently ‘ignorant’ to applying concussion protocols.”

In an official statement,the Poolers boss said: “I am very disappointed with the contents of Paul Flynn MP’s blog article, as it appeared to demonstrate little appreciation the positive strides Welsh rugby has made in implementing new guidelines on managing concussions."

He noted that Pontypool RFC “strictly abides” by guidelines set out in the Welsh Rugby Union’s ‘Recognise and Remove Concussion’ guidance document.

As part of the statement he added that Pontypool RFC's Medical Director, Mr Angus Robertson, performs annual concussion guidance educational evenings to its squad, staff and volunteers. This was coupled with an example of the clubs approach — outlining the full recovery of a player, who was removed from play for five weeks after displaying “numerous unmistakeable symptoms of concussion”.

Mr Jeffreys also expressed his “total admiration” for the family of Cae Trayhern in their drive to raise awareness of sport-related head injuries and offered the “complete support” of the club.

“It is vital that we never stand still in ensuring that our players are well protected and it is my intention to share Pontypool RFC’s medical policies in full with Cae’s family to assist with their efforts,” he added.

“They remain in our thoughts during this difficult time and Cae’s legacy will live on at Pontypool RFC for generations to come.”

In a response to Ben Jeffreys, Mr Flynn said he has previously praised the “energetic response of the rugby fraternity to dangers recently recognised” and referenced a recent meeting with several former rugby internationals and officials in Parliament about the issue.

Although he said boxing has been in “denial” about the damage caused by blows to the head, he credited rugby unions for their “ambitious programme of measure to avoid injuries”.

“It is heartening to know that the sport has recognised the severe risks permitted in the past and they are working to encourage non-contact rugby in schools in schools so that the skills can be learned with the risks minimised,” he said.

“Last Wednesday's meeting in Parliament was attended by several former rugby internationals and officials. MPs were impressed by the scale and seriousness of the campaign to avoid rugby dangers.”

In his blog post, Mr Flynn also referred to Pill-born heavyweight champion David Pearce, who died in May 2000, aged 41, after developing epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease, as further evidence of the need for change.

The family of "David 'Bomber' Pearce said that he did not die due to epilepsy and Alzheimer's due to head injuries from boxing but from 'Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome'(SADS).

The MP added he will post a further blog about measures being taken to tackle the issues. Ben Jeffreys has requested a meeting with Mr Flynn to discuss his comments.