Two Quins forwards forced to quit

Fri, 05 Jul 2013 11:01
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Harlequins' forwards, Olly Kohn and Will Skinner, have been forced to retire from the game due to injury after distinguished careers with the London club.

Harlequins' forwards, Olly Kohn and Will Skinner, have been forced to retire from the game due to injury after distinguished careers with the London club.

Although Olly Kohn battled against injury last season, whilst undergoing exploratory surgery on his shoulder post-season, the injury was discovered to be more severe than first feared. The surgeon that undertook the procedure advised the 32-year-old lock forward to retire immediately.

Kohn joined Harlequins from Bristol in July 2006 and made his debut in the pre-season friendly with ASM Clermont that summer. He has since made 139 appearances for the club and scored four tries.  He made his international debut for Wales in this year's Six Nations Championship against Ireland.

Will Skinner hasn't played first team rugby for Harlequins for a year due to a neck injury sustained during the early part of the 2012-13 season. Despite the best efforts of the player and club's medical staff, the 29-year-old loose forward has been advised that he must not play again.

Will moved to Harlequins from Leicester Tigers also in summer 2006 and made his debut in the pre-season friendly with Clermont.  He went on to make 149 first team appearances, including captaining the club during the 08/09 and 09/10 seasons, and scored four tries.

He represented England at Under-19 and U21 levels and played a key role in the England Saxons squad that won the Churchill Cup in 2007, he was appointed captain of the Saxons the following year.

Both players were members of the Harlequins squad that won the Amlin Challenge Cup in 2011 and the Premiership in 2012.

Harlequins Director of Rugby, Conor O'Shea said: "We are devastated that injury has forced both Olly and Will to retire.  They have been and will always be remembered as true greats of this club and have inked their names indelibly into its history.

"Will has battled for the last year with his neck, however, Olly's retirement has come about more suddenly for him and Harlequins," O'Shea continued.  

"The club intends to keep both players involved in different capacities as part of its future plans. I have no doubt that, given the young talent that we have, both men will be valuable in mentoring our development players for years to come.  

"Day-to-day we are going to miss their personalities greatly, but they will still be around the squad as the Club supports them with physiotherapy to alleviate painful aspects of their injuries, before helping them to focus on other areas post rugby," O'Shea added.

Commenting on his decision to retire Olly Kohn said: "I'm disappointed to have to retire as I thought I had a few more seasons to go.  

"I will look back at my time in rugby, especially at Quins with many fond memories. I feel very lucky to have been part of a fantastic club with a great set of players and coaches that have helped me achieve some massive highs in my career.

"It’s time for me to jump off the rugby rollercoaster and get stuck into the 'real world', whether that’s in pigs and sausages or wearing a suit, who knows!" Kohn mentioned light-heartedly.

Confirming his decision to retire, Will Skinner said: "I'm sorry to have had to call it a day as a player. Every player is devastated when the decision to retire is taken out of his hands but I hope to maintain my strong relationship with the game and with Harlequins.

"Since joining the club in 2006 I have been lucky enough to have played a small part in its illustrious history. I have been incredibly lucky to be a part of such a great club and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me throughout my rugby career.

"I'm looking forward to whatever is next for me in the 'real world' - all I hope is that I enjoy it as much as I have my rugby career," he said.

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