“Return to Play” delves into the world of professional rugby through the eyes of Thomas, a dedicated athlete facing a pivotal career choice. Thomas reflects on his passion for the sport, his love for its physicality, and the pressures he faces to continue playing despite potential risks. With glimpses into his personal life and the challenges of balancing rugby with family and financial responsibilities, the script explores the internal conflict of an athlete torn between the love of the game and its uncertain future.
“This film was conceived in an attempt to comprehend the predicament that some current rugby players may find themselves in. I am an avid fan of the game, and one of the attractions lies in the intense physicality and gladiatorial aspect. It’s not a malicious sport and my impression is that players put everything on the line physically, but once the final whistle is blown, they can enjoy a drink together, realising that it’s only a game.
Recent research that has been published is beginning to shed light on the dangers of multiple head contacts and their long-term impacts. These impacts seem to pose a significant risk of conditions like CTE and diseases such as dementia. The BBC Steve Thompson documentary had a profound effect on me, and it was evident that some players didn’t fully grasp the risks involved.
With this new information, young players can make an informed decision about whether to pursue the sport or not. However, what about the players who are already halfway through their careers? What choices do they have, and is the risk truly worth it?”