The lawsuit brought by eight former players will force rugby's administrators to confront some uncomfortable truths.
I have been reporting on persuasive links between rugby and dementia for close to five years. The stories were harrowing but, as callous as it sounds, because it mostly involved men in the twilight of their lives, rugby's panjandrums were able to brush it off as a natural part of ageing.
They didn't say as much, but you stand alongside those embedded in the sport for long enough and you'd hear about how much players in the 1960s used to drink, and how concussion awareness and treatment was rudimentary compared to today.
The last part is unquestionably true, but it might also be irrelevant.
The very thing touted as making rugby safer – professionalism – might in fact be the root cause of the next wave of dementia sufferers.
Yes, players look after themselves better. Yes, rugby has been at the forefront of a number of initiatives that outwardly look like they're taking head injuries much more seriously than other sports.
But there's also this: players are bigger; players are more powerful; players play much more; and players are involved in way more collisions.
No amount of head injury assessments in the world is going to change that.
Rugby has a choice to make: it either works much harder to make the playing of the game safer; or it has to come with an explicit warning that playing the game can increase your chances of neurological disease.
That is not an enviable choice.
The Herald broke the news of the lawsuit on Tuesday. More than 70 ex-players have been involved and that number is ever-increasing say the lawyers working on the case.
Richard Boardman, of Rylands Law, says he is representing more than 100 former professional rugby and league players who are showing similar symptoms.
The shock isn't necessarily the total numbers though. It is the age of those affected, with some barely in their 40s.
Eight players who have been diagnosed with early onset dementia are suing Dublin-based World Rugby, Wales Rugby and the RFU, which administers English rugby, in a test case that will seek millions of pounds in damages. They will argue that repeated blows to the head are to blame for their plight and it was the result of negligence on the part of the sport.
Boardman has indicated a class action may follow. The Herald was also contacted by another firm who said they are representing a number of players facing similar issues, but they are not yet ready to go public.
Former England players Steve Thompson and Michael Lipman, and Wales flanker Alix Popham are the first to go public with their stories. They are devastating.
Thompson, 42, the bull-like hooker, says he cannot remember anything about the 2003 Rugby World Cup, which England won.
"It's just bizarre," he told the BBC. "People talk about stories, and since the World Cup I've talked to the lads that were there, and you pick up stories… but it's not me being there, it's not me doing it, because it's just gone."
Thompson recounted a time at training when his side were forced to do 100 live scrums as a result of the set-piece performing poorly in the previous match, saying "when it comes to it, we were like a bit of meat, really".
Popham told the Guardian that he was sitting a home during lockdown when his doctor rang to give him bad news about the symptoms he was enduring – early onset dementia, which was probably the result of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a disease that can only be properly diagnosed post-mortem.
Like Thompson, Popham has no recollection of large chunks of his career. In some cases he knows he played at clubs because he has been told he did, but cannot remember being there.
He has displayed classic symptoms of advanced-stage CTE including short-term memory loss, disorientation, irritability, aggression and withdrawal.
He estimates about half of his former rugby-playing friends are struggling, some worse than him, and is angry about how many are "wrongly" diagnosed with depression.
"They have gone to their GPs and been told: 'You're depressed, here are antidepressants, now go away'."
Popham estimated that over the course of his professional career he endured about 100,000 subconcussions if you added up all the hits taken during games and trainings.
"And that's just my professional career. I started playing when I was four."
In response to the ground-breaking suit, World Rugby said: "[We take] player safety very seriously and implements injury-prevention strategies based on the latest available knowledge, research and evidence."
It might sound glib but it needs to said: All the evidence you need is about to sue you.