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Rugby News

Wells happy to see mental health in spotlight

Harry Wells believes the game has placed much more of an emphasis on the mental health and well-being of its players than ever before.

Speaking during Mental Health Awareness Week, the Leicester Tigers lock paid tribute to the Rugby Players' Association and their work with clubs in bringing taboo-topic in to the "spotlight" in recent seasons.

"I think it's certainly something that has much more of a focus on it these days than in previous seasons," said Wells.

"The club takes it very seriously and the work being done by the RPA has been really important in bringing it in to the spotlight.

"People are much more comfortable discussing it now, which isn't easy in a masculine environment like rugby, and the work the clubs have done alongside the RPA has been a big reason for that ... they deserve that recognition for it."

While acknowledging the important work that has been done, Wells accepts that the work is not over for rugby and improvements can still be made across the rugby community.

"It's not easy to talk about for anyone, whether you are a rugby player or not, and that's what we all need to be better at; helping people feel like they can open up and get the help if they need it," added Wells.

The 27-year-old, who is the club's Player Representative on the RPA Board, also believes the environment at Leicester Tigers is one where all players - young, old, debutant or senior player - is what is helping re-shape the current squad on and off the pitch.

"We have a great environment at Leicester Tigers, where we are all encouraged to speak up and we all have a say," said the Leicester lock.

"It doesn't matter if you are Ben Youngs with more than 250 Tigers appearances and 100+ Tests or a young guy starting out in the senior squad, we are all made to feel as valuable as one another to what we are building at the club."

As part of a competition-wide initiative, the RPA and Gallagher Premiership clubs are conducting Mental Health First Aid training courses for players and staff throughout the league.