Leicester Tigers back-rower David Denton has announced his retirement from professional rugby. The former Scotland international is just 29-years-old, but has struggled after sustaining a head injury against Northampton Saints a year ago.
Zimbabwean-born Denton has not played since suffering a head injury in the win at Twickenham in October 2018.
After extensive consultation with medical experts and working closely with the Tigers’ medical team, he has now been advised to end his professional playing career.
Denton said: “It is massively disappointing to now know I won’t be able to continue to play a game I love.
“I was very keen to make an impact after settling in so quickly at Leicester last season. But long-term health has to come first. I’ve spoken to some of the leading experts in this kind of injury and in the end I have had to put myself, my family and my health first.
David Denton speaks after calling time on his playing career following advice from medical professionals.
— Leicester Tigers (@LeicesterTigers) September 16, 2019
“I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along the way, from when I first picked up a rugby ball back home in Zimbabwe, through my professional clubs at Edinburgh, Bath and Worcester, the Scotland international set-up and everyone at Tigers.”
Denton won the first of 42 caps for Scotland in the run-up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup and was signed by Tigers in the summer of 2018 as an aggressive ball-carrier and physical defender but he had made only six appearances – winning the season’s opening Player of the Month award – before his injury.
“It is incredibly bad news for the club and, obviously, for David that he is unable to continue playing,” said Tigers head coach Geordan Murphy.
“He was seen as a key part of the squad here and we were looking forward to seeing him continue to develop in the future.
“We are all involved in rugby because we love playing the game, but sometimes that has to take second place to other priorities and Dents has been advised to retire for the good of his own future and that of his family. He will always be welcome here and, on behalf of everyone at the club, we thank him for his service, and we wish him and his family well for the future.”
Sad to see Dentz having to call time on his playing days – no player should have to be forced in to the decision. He has only been with us a short time but once a Tiger, always a Tiger.
— Tom Youngs (@TomYoungs87) September 16, 2019