WELLINGTON, April 28 (Reuters) - One test All Black James Broadhurst has admitted defeat in his long battle with the symptoms of concussion and announced his retirement at the age of 29 on Friday.
The lock earned his single cap against South Africa in Johannesburg in July 2015 but has not been able to play any rugby since he was concussed playing for his provincial side Taranaki the following month.
“I’ve been away from the game for a little over 18 months and still experience symptoms which affect my daily life,” he said in a news release.
”Some extensive efforts have gone into getting me back to sport by medical professionals in and out of rugby.
“Even though it hasn’t resulted in the outcome I had hoped for, I owe each and every one of them a huge debt, as my health has improved massively and this will undoubtedly give me quality of life in the future.”
Broadhurst played 71 matches for the Wellington Hurricanes in Super Rugby, 20 for the Canterbury province and 55 for Taranaki.
He was a nominee for the New Zealand Super Rugby Player of the Year award in 2015 after playing an integral role in getting the Hurricanes to the final.
“James is a good man who played some exceptional rugby for the Hurricanes, particularly in 2015,” said Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd.
”The timing of his injury was unfortunate because he was starting to really realise his full potential.
“It can’t have been easy for him to be told to walk away from the game and everyone at the club wishes him all the best for whatever lies ahead.”
Concussion has been identified as a serious problem in many contact sports, with long-term consequences for athletes.
In the United States, concussion has been the subject of a billion dollar legal action by thousands of former NFL players against the league. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney, editing by Peter Rutherford)