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French rugby star Marc Dal Maso has Parkinson's disease

Paris: Marc Dal Maso who won two Five Nations Grand Slams with France and was a coach for Japan at this year's World Cup announced yesterday that he has Parkinson's Disease. Dal Maso, 48, said he did not have the degenerative disorder through "chance".

Marc Dal Maso
Marc Dal Maso

He told the Midi-Olympique rugby daily: "Let's just say there are sports which help illnesses like this and rugby is one of them."

Dal Maso, who coached the Japanese scrum at the World Cup when the team beat South Africa in a sparkling group campaign, said he had decided to go public because people were starting to talk.

"There were rumours doing the rounds so rather than listen to people say stupid things it was better that they know." He said the illness had been detected in 2012 but had probably started when he was about 30.

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