Fractured neck: Scotland star quits

Wed, 15 May 2013 12:38
Large joe ansbro bleeding Large joeansbrowasps Large joe ansbro pass ball

Scotland and London Irish centre Joe Ansbro announced his retirement, after losing his battle to recover from a broken neck.

Scotland and London Irish centre Joe Ansbro announced his retirement, after losing his battle to recover from a broken neck.

Ansbro suffered the injury during a pre-season friendly against Munster last August and despite undergoing extensive rehabilitation, he has been advised to quit on medical grounds.

The 27-year-old, who joined Irish from their Premiership rivals Northampton, won 11 caps for Scotland and helped his country clinch notable victories over South Africa and Australia.

"It is with great sadness that I announce my retirement from professional rugby," Ansbro said.

"To gain international recognition with Scotland has been an immense honour and victories over South Africa and Australia stand out.

"Playing this great game at the highest level is a privilege and I will always look back on my career with fond memories.

"Thank you to all the players, coaches, staff and supporters of London Irish; thank you to everyone at Northampton Saints, the RPA [Rugby Players' Association] and the wider rugby community for the support I received before and after my injury."

"I wish the club success in the future and look forward to watching the boys get off to a good start when September arrives.

"Thank you also to all the supporters, players, coaches and staff at the SRU for making the responsibility of representing Scotland such an enjoyable experience.

"I'd especially like to thank James Peckitt and doctor James Robson for helping me through a difficult rehabilitation process.

"Finally, thank you to my family, friends and agent for their continuing support and positive influence."

Ansbro suffered a C1 fracture early into the second half of the Exiles pre-season friendly with Munster in Cork on August 24.

London Irish Director of Rugby Brian Smith said: "This is incredibly sad news for Joe and for everyone at London Irish. He has remained extremely committed to the club during his injury and his presence around the squad has been a huge lift for all the players.

"He is a very intelligent and articulate young man and I have no doubt that he will be as committed to his next career as he has been to rugby. Everyone at the club wishes Joe all the best for the future."

Andy Martin, London Irish CEO said: "During his time with London Irish Joe has made a big impact, not only with his team mates, but with supporters and sponsors alike. He will certainly be missed and we wish him all the best for the future."