Sport Rugby

Saturday 15 December 2018

'Devastated' Wilkinson forced to retire

Brett Wilkinson has been forced to quit the game because of a neck injury
Brett Wilkinson has been forced to quit the game because of a neck injury

Declan Rooney

Connacht have been rocked with a second retirement in a week, with prop Brett Wilkinson forced to quit the game because of a neck injury.

Wilkinson (30) sustained a partial tear to ligaments in his neck against Saracens in January and has been advised by specialists to cease contact sports immediately.

The South African native was on the verge of the Ireland side and travelled on the tour to New Zealand in 2012, but was never capped.

He says the news has left him "devastated."

"It has, of course, come as a big shock for me that I have to retire so suddenly. I'm devastated that I won't play again, but the nature of my injury was very serious and I have to appreciate that I have my health," said Wilkinson, who joined Connacht in 2006.

"The Connacht supporters are some of the best in the world and I'd like to thank them for welcoming me so openly to Galway and Connacht – a place I now call home.

"The back-room staff have also been fantastic throughout and especially in the last few weeks when I've been dealing with the news," he added

Last week, Connacht centre Kyle Tonetti announced his retirement from the game because of injury.

Despite Wilkinson's retirement, Connacht's bid to match their best ever winning run has been boosted with the confirmation that centre Dave McSharry will not, in fact, miss Sunday afternoon's clash with Scarlets.

McSharry was expected to sit out this weekend's game in Llanelli after he sustained a head injury against Dragons last weekend, but he has since been past fit to resume action by the Connacht medical team.

Connacht claimed a third bonus-point win in a row in Wales last weekend and can move into the coveted top-six position with a fifth consecutive victory this weekend against Scarlets.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport