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'The concussion thing was scary, I count myself very lucky that I got out of rugby when I did'

Part four: Kevin McLaughlin (Leinster)

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Kevin McLaughlin in pensive mood. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Kevin McLaughlin in pensive mood. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Kevin McLaughlin in pensive mood. Photo: Stephen McCarthy / Sportsfile

Over the last three days, we have recounted the stories of three recently retired players, each of whom has offered a fascinating insight into the often difficult nature of a professional rugby career.

Andrew Browne, Jonny Holland and Dan Tuohy's searing honesty should be welcomed as their openness has allowed many people to develop a greater understanding of the mental and physical toll that the demands of top-level rugby can have on the mind, as well as the body.

It is important to note that these are not isolated cases because the increasingly attritional nature of the sport means that many others will continue to be forced into similarly early retirements.