Concussion: Players who've been forced to retire
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Concussion has ended the career of another professional rugby player, this time in Super Rugby.
Hurricanes prop Reggie Goodes is just 26, but has had to step away from the game.
The South African-born player took a head knock during a pre-season match for the Hurricanes in February 2017, the third time he had been forced to take extended leave from the game due to concussion since 2014.
RugbyPass looks at some other players have been forced to walk away due to head injuries.
Nathan White – Waikato, Leinster, Connacht and Ireland:
Ireland international prop with 13 caps retired in 2016 aged 35. He featured in all five of Ireland’s games at the 2015 World Cup. White suffered a head injury while playing for Connacht in March 2016 against Leinster and retired in September of that year on medical advice.
Alistair Hargreaves – Sharks, Saracens and South Africa:
Former Saracens captain, who led the club to the 2015 Premiership title. The Springbok hung up his boots just a week after Nathan White’s announcement in September 2016. Hargreaves was 30 when he retired, after repeated concussions over a two year period.
Kevin McLaughlin – Leinster and Ireland:
McLaughlin was 31 when he walked away from the game. The flanker suffered a head injury playing for Leinster in their Pro 12 opener against Edinburgh on September 4th 2015. McLaughlin was captaining the side on the day, making his 115th appearance for the club. Less than three weeks later he retired.
Jonathan Thomas – Ospreys, Worcester and Wales:
The former Wales flanker was diagnosed with epilepsy, thought to have been brought about by head trauma. His club Worcester said at the time that Thomas had suffered “a degree of brain injury”. Thomas was part of Wales’ Grand Slam winning squads in 2005 and 2008.
James Broadhurst – Hurricanes and New Zealand:
Broadhurst made one appearance for the All Blacks, against South Africa in July 2015. Just a month later the second row was concussed while playing for Taranaki in a Mitre 10 Cup clash against Wellington, it proved to be his final game. He continued to suffer headaches, with doctors advising him to keep his heart rate below 120-beats-per-minute to avoid them. He announced his retirement in April 2017.
Mouritz Botha – Saracens, Newcastle Falcons and England
Newcastle Falcons’ former England lock Mouritz Botha was forced to call time on his rugby career at the age of 35.
A Premiership title winner with Saracens back in 2011, Botha made the decision on medical advice after failing to recover from concussion suffered during the 2016-17 season.
Capped 10 times by England and playing Super Rugby for the Sharks in his native South Africa, the 6 foot 5 forward admitted it was a tough being forced into retirement but was able to look back on a successful playing career.