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David Denton forced to retire after concussion problems

The Scotland international says he was relieved when told he shouldn't play again.

Denton last played for Scotland against Argentina last year.
Denton last played for Scotland against Argentina last year. SNS Group

Scotland forward David Denton has said it is a relief to be drawing a line under his rugby career after an 11-month battle with concussion.

Denton, who won the last of his 42 caps against Argentina last year and would have been in contention for the World Cup if fit, has continued to suffer problems after taking a blow to the head while playing for Leicester Tigers last year.

Doctors have advised him to hang up his boots and he admitted he was ready for the news.

"My actual reaction at the time my neurologist told me it was no longer a good idea to play rugby, to be honest there was a bit of relief," he told the Scottish Rugby website.

"This had been building up inside of me for four to five months. By the time I got to it, I had been through all the emotional highs and lows, so I was prepared for it.

"Of course it is devastating that my rugby career is ending. After a few years where I had a series of injuries, I had got myself back into a position where I felt, physically and mentally, that I could play the best rugby of my career.

"Since I was 14 or 15 my identity has been forged around being a sportsman, a rugby player. Now, at the age of 29, a few years before I expected, the circumstances have changed."

The 29-year-old revealed in a separate interview he had repeatedly failed the concussion protocols in recent months and a neurosurgeon had told him the sensible move was to retire.

"I have had this thing hanging over me for a long time now," Denton told The Times.

"Since the injury I have woken up every morning with pressure in my head and visual disturbances and not really knowing what is going on.

"Pretty much for that whole time I've been assuming that next week I will be better. Every time I tried to go through the comeback protocol, I'd fail. I've tried everything but nothing's worked."

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend said: "We're really disappointed that someone who still had a lot to offer the game, both at club level and for Scotland hasn't been able to do that, but our first thoughts are with his health and his life beyond rugby and it seems to be the right decision to retire.

"As coaches we really enjoyed working with Dave over the years and we wish him all the best in life after rugby."

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