CONNACHT HAVE ANNOUNCED that centre Kyle Tonetti has retired from professional rugby due to an ankle injury.
The 26-year-old joined the province in 2012 from Sale Sharks, going on to make 18 appearances, including four in the Heineken Cup. A native of South Africa, Tonetti developed his rugby skills at St. Gerard’s, Bray having moved to Ireland aged 10.
Impressive performances at schools level and for Blackrock RFC saw the centre joining the Leinster academy in 2007, from where he advanced to a full-time contract with the eastern province, eventually playing three times in the Celtic League.
Tonetti made the switch to Sale for the 2010/11 season, playing 17 times for the Premiership club over a two-season period. His time at Connacht has been frustrated by the ankle injury, with the advice of a number of medical practitioners now seeing the former Ireland U19 and U20 international forced to retire.
I’d like to thank everyone who has been so supportive, especially over the last few months – my family, my girlfriend, friends and Connacht team-mates,” said Tonetti.
“And a particular thank you to the Connacht backroom staff for providing me with their best efforts to get me back on the pitch and accommodating me while injured.
“I would also like to strongly thank Eric Elwood and all of the great coaches I’ve played under for their support since my schooldays.
“Over the last number of months, being unable to play, I’ve had some time to prepare for this and I’m anxious and excited to move on to the next stage of my career – something all players have to do at some point in their lives.”