Concussion forces Welsh flanker, aged 26, to immediately retire
'I take consolation in the fact that I was able to fulfil my childhood dream and represent my home region.'
Cardiff Blues flanker Rory Watts-Jones has been forced to retire from rugby, on medical grounds with immediate effect, due to a bad concussion he suffered in November 2014.
A statement on the Blues website reveals Watts-Jones, who made 31 senior appearances for the club, was advised to retire 'with his long-term health regarded the highest priority' after a period of recovery and specialist review, under the guidance of Blues medical team.
Watts-Jones is "devastated" after accepting the medical advice and retiring. 'Having put in so much to have my career cut short before I had reached my full potential is hard to take,' he says.
'Although it will take time to come to terms with my retirement, I take consolation in the fact that I was able to fulfil my childhood dream and represent my home region.
I will forever be a Cardiff Blues fan and I wish the current players and staff all the very best in their careers. If I could offer one piece of advice it would be to make the most of every minute in the game as you never know when it will be over.'
Blues head coach Mark Hammett says, ''The medical team have worked closely with Rory and his long-term health has always been our utmost priority.
'It's always sad to see a player retire at such a young age, but I know Rory has made the right decision for his future. We will continue to support him during this transitional period.'