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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Connacht's Ben Marshall forced to retire at the age of 26 due to concussion

The lock had been sidelined for the last number of months.

CONNACHT SECOND ROW Ben Marshall has retired from professional rugby on medical advice after suffering a concussion-related injury.

Ben Marshall Marshall played just five times for Connacht. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The 26-year-old has been out of action all season and the Guinness Pro12 champions confirmed the unfortunate news this afternoon.

Marshall joined Connacht at the start of the 2015/16 campaign but made just five appearances for the club during an injury-hit year.

The former Ireland U20 international signed a new contract with the province last March but complications have arisen after he sustained a head injury towards the back-end of Connacht’s title-winning season.

“Unfortunately, my time as a player has come to an end earlier than I would have wished,” Marshall said.

“It has been a difficult time not being able to play since the injury but having had some time away from the game, I can appreciate how fortunate I’ve also been in my career.”

Marshall was a graduate of the Leinster Academy and played 20 times for the eastern province before making the move to the Sportsground in search of greater opportunities.

The former St Andrew’s College student was also capped by an Ireland XV against the Barbarians in 2015 and represented Emerging Ireland in the Tbilisi Cup later that year.

“Special thanks have to be extended to my teammates and friends, from schoolboy through to professional level,” he continued.

Sean O'Brien, Aly Muldowney and Ben Marshall Marshall moved to Galway last year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

“We have shared many highlights that I will carry with me for years to come, and it is the quiet camaraderie of the dressing room that I will miss the most.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Connacht head physio Garrett Coughlan and the medical team who have given me wonderful care and support over the past eleven months.

“I am looking forward to continuing in my financial studies and the new career path that is ahead of me, but I will always be appreciative of the lessons that Willie (Ruane) and Pat (Lam) taught me during my time at Connacht Rugby.”

Pat Lam described Marshall as an excellent team man.

“Ben was unfortunate through injury during his time at Connacht Rugby but we always saw his professional attitude shine through on and off the pitch,” the Connacht head coach said.

“He is an excellent team man who has achieved a lot in the game from a very young age and I have no doubt that he will go on to achieve great things in his business and life pursuits going forward.

“He will have a support system and friends for life from his time in rugby and we wish him well for the future.”

Source: The42 Rugby Show/SoundCloud

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Ryan Bailey

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