Kearnan Myall: Wasps offer support to ex-player following mental health problems

Kearnan Myall spent six years with Wasps after signing from Sale in 2013
Kearnan Myall spent six years at Wasps after signing from Sale in 2013

Wasps have offered support to Kearnan Myall following their former lock forward's admission that he had contemplated taking his own life.

Yorkshireman Myall, 32, told The Guardian on Monday about his and other players' struggles with mental health issues during his time in rugby.

Wasps have re-opened the door to Myall, who left at the end of last season.

"Player welfare and mental health is something we take very seriously," said a Wasps club statement.

"We are shocked and saddened to learn of Kearnan Myall's recent revelations.

Kearnan Myall was one of the few who managed to stop Maro Itoje in his tracks when Wasps met Saracens last season
Kearnan Myall was one of the few who managed to stop Maro Itoje in his tracks when Wasps met Saracens last season

"Suicide, depression, alcoholism and drug abuse are not avenues which anyone should have to go down.

"In whatever way possible, we as rugby clubs must support individuals to ensure no players or staff are faced with these perilous situations."

The former Leeds and Sale forward, who was capped six times by England at Saxons level, has already been massively comforted by the backing he has had from within the game.

"He's received an overwhelming amount of messages of support," added a Wasps spokesman. "Some players that have been messaging he's never even met before - including people from different sports."

Kearnan keen to help with stress

When he left the club this summer, Myall was told by Wasps director of coaching Dai Young that he could come back and help out during the season if they were low on numbers.

But he is now studying a PhD in psychiatry at Oxford University, where one of his chief aims will be highlighting and tackling the issues that have so affected him.

"We wish Kearnan the very best in his studies," the Wasps club statement continued. "We fully support him in trying to make a difference, not just across the world of rugby, but across all sports.

"In researching mindfulness and mental health issues among athletes, as part of this, he will be conducting some of his research working with the Wasps academy to help the next generation.

"Hopefully, Kearnan's work will assist players in coping with the stresses of the industry and prevent others from going through the same issues as he did during some of his career.

"He is an intelligent, extremely highly-respected and highly-regarded individual and it is important that his story prevents others from experiencing similar problems.

"It is imperative, that rugby players at all levels worldwide are supported not just physically, but mentally.

"With the support of the Rugby Players' Association and also club doctors and GPs, we would always encourage players or staff to utilise the support which is on offer on a regular basis, and will continue to remind them who they should contact if or when they feel that they require the support."