Durban born Irish Under-20 retires

Wed, 19 Mar 2014 13:48
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26-year-old Connacht centre Kyle Tonetti has retired from the game of rugby due to a long-standing ankle injury.

26-year-old Connacht centre Kyle Tonetti has retired from the game of rugby due to a long-standing ankle injury.
Commenting on his decision, the centre said "I'm obviously very disappointed to have to make this decision at this stage of my career. After exhausting all options and going through numerous surgeries, I have come to terms with the fact that I will not be playing at this level again. 
"Over the last number of months, being unable to play, I've had some time to prepare for this and I'm anxious and excited to move on to the next stage of my career...something all players have to do at some point in their lives. 
"I believe there are great times ahead for the club under Pat Lam and the other coaches and I wish Connacht the very best of luck in the future. I look forward to watching on as a supporter."
Speaking about Tonetti, Connacht Team Manager Tim Allnutt said: "We're disappointed for Kyle and sorry to see him forced to retire. When he played for us we saw what a superb talent he was and he is a big loss to both Connacht and Irish rugby. 
"Throughout his time at Connacht, he has maintained a very high standard in training and in his rehab work. Despite the setbacks, he has always shown a positive attitude and been willing to contribute to the squad in other ways. 
"He can look back on what he has achieved in rugby with pride. Everyone at Connacht Rugby would like to wish him well with the next chapter in his life."
Tonetti joined Connacht Rugby in November 2011 from English club Sale Sharks where he spent one season and earned fourteen Premiership caps. He quickly became ever-present in the Connacht squad showing his versatility and ability to adapt by featuring at inside and outside centre as well as a few games on the wing. He was awarded 'Player of the Month' following outstanding performances in games against Leinster, Toulouse and Harlequins in the 2011/12 season. 
Tonetti represented Ireland at U-19 and U-20 level and was part of the 2007 U-20 6 Nations Grand Slam winning team. 
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