Former England hooker Steve Thompson is 42 years of age and living with Dementia.
This week he revealed that he cannot remember playing in England's 2003 World Cup final victory.
The news come as the ongoing health concerns for rugby players protection is growing amid a landmark concussion case being filed against Rugby authorities.
Irish rugby legend Keith Wood says the revelations by Thompson and others that they have early stage dementia is very serious for the sport.
Wood says the issue of player safety will have to be examined:
"I think some of the reaction afterwards is alarmist and maybe it should be alarmist and maybe that is the appropriate response at this stage.
"I do think a lot of changes have happened, I do think a lot more have to happen and I do think you have to end up looking at this in a different way.
"Do you look at it entirely different from kids or amateur system to a professional system and should there be entirely different set ups for it.
"It is quite literally frightening and you can't gloss over this in anyway shape or form."