Newport Gwent Dragons: Ashley Smith retires on medical grounds

Ashley Smith, Newport Gwent Dragons
Ashley Smith also played for Wales Under-16s, 18s and 19s

Newport Gwent Dragons centre Ashley Smith has retired from playing rugby on medical grounds.

The Welsh region says Smith, 28, has suffered a "series of concussive events" and after "expert advice" has decided to "hang up his boots".

"I am utterly disappointed and devastated that I have been forced to retire through injury," said Smith.

"But I feel that the medical advice given to me cannot be ignored."

Concussion-related retirements
In February 2015 Cardiff Blues flanker Rory Watts-Jones retired after a concussion-related injury.
England internationals Shontayne Hapeexternal-link and Andy Hazell were both forced to quit rugby after concussion injuries.
Centre Hape, who played 13 times for England, said he had suffered more than 20 concussions in his career while flanker Hazell struggled to recover after suffering a concussion pre-season in the summer of 2014.

Former Wales Under-20 captain Smith, made more than 160 appearances for Dragons since joining the Rodney Parade side in 2005.

Dragons' director of rugby, Lyn Jones said it was a "big blow" for the region.

"We are all so upset at the news of Ashley's forced retirement," said Davies.

"Over his 10 years at Rodney Parade, he has been a credit to the region, himself and his family.

"We will miss his maturity, football, decision making and his experience.

"It's a big blow for us, but Ashley has made the right decision for himself and his family. We wish him well for the future."

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