First professional rugby union player confirmed to have died with CTE

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  • Former Blues scrum-half Billy Guyton died in 2023
  • Auckland brain bank report diagnoses Stage 2 CTE

The first confirmed diagnosis of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a fully professional rugby union player has been made in New Zealand. Billy Guyton, who represented the Māori All Blacks, played scrum-half in Super Rugby for the Blues and had stints with the Hurricanes and Crusaders, died in May at the age of 33.

Guyton’s brain was donated to the brain bank at the University of Auckland. On Monday, his family received a summary of the results, the first item of which details “changes consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy”. The diagnosis was confirmed by Associate Professor Michael Buckland, founder and director of the Australian Sports Brain Bank, as stage 2 CTE, which sits between mild (stage 1) and severe (stage 4) in the strata of this degenerative disease.

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Written by Michael Aylwin
This news first appeared on under the title “First professional rugby union player confirmed to have died with CTE”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.