Saturday 22 October 2016

Australia prop Benn Robinson forced to retire due to serious eye injury

Published 07/06/2016 | 08:17

Benn Robinson (left) in action for Australia
Benn Robinson (left) in action for Australia

Former Australia prop Benn Robinson has retired from rugby due to complications with a serious eye injury when playing for the New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby.

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The popular 72-Test forward suffered an accidental poke in the eye during a line-out against the ACT Brumbies in April and had developed a condition called microscopic hyphema, in which blood cells appear in front of the lens, affecting vision.

His condition was further complicated by an increase in pressure within the eye and a tear to the retina, for which he underwent surgery.

While Robinson was expected to regain full sight, he had been advised that the risk to his eye was too great to continue his career in rugby.

"To hear from a doctor that I can't do that any more is a tough pill to swallow," Robinson said.

"Rugby has been part of my life for so many years that for it to end like this is just so disappointing."

The 31-year-old said he feared he might suffer from blurred vision for the rest of his life.

"The doctors went in after surgery and found a few more issues than they initially thought," he said.

"There could be more surgeries in the future but my vision's still blurry in my right eye so that's probably potentially going to stay like that.

"But I was sitting in the office two weeks ago and I heard about a guy with a brain tumour and I've got a poke in the eye. There's worse things in life than a poke in the eye.

"I'm very fortunate, very lucky to have had such a long career but I wasn't expecting a poke in the eye to finish it.

"I was more concerned about my back and my knee."

Robinson was the third Wallabies prop to play 50 Tests after Al Baxter and Ewen McKenzie, and he retires as the most capped Waratah, having played 148 Super Rugby matches.

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