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'I have woken up every morning with pressure in my head' - Scotland star retires due to concussion

David Denton was capped 42 times and coach Gregor Townsend said the national side would ‘miss him’.

David Denton (file pic).
David Denton (file pic).
Image: Andrew Matthews

SCOTLAND INTERNATIONAL DAVID Denton has retired from rugby due to concussion issues, saying Monday he did so with “mixed emotions.”

The 29-year-old Zimbabwe-born backrow forward, who without the health issues would have more than likely been in the World Cup squad, was given the news by the neurosurgeon last Thursday.

However, the announcement was only made official on Monday with Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend saying the national side would “miss him.”

Denton, who was capped 42 times, told The Times he had lived from week to week since suffering the head injury playing for his Premiership side Leicester Tigers against Northampton Saints last October.

“There were mixed emotions,” Denton said.

“Part of it was relief. I have had this hanging over me for a long time.

“Since the injury I have woken up every morning with pressure in my head, visual disturbances and not really knowing what is going on.

“Pretty much for that whole time I’ve been assuming that next week, I will be better.

Every time I tried to go through the comeback protocol, I’d fail. I’ve tried everything but nothing’s worked.”

Denton, who plans to return to Edinburgh and go into business, said he had steadily got tenser as the appointment with the neurosurgeon approached. 

“Over the last couple of months, as I felt this coming closer, I had convinced myself that I was fine with it,” he said.

“Subconsciously I was getting more and more worked up. At least now I know where I stand.”

Denton, who says his most memorable moment was being named man of the match on his debut for Scotland in the 13-6 defeat by England in the 2012 Six Nations clash, said even reading became an issue.

“There’s pressure in the back of my head, and visual symptoms,” he said.

“When I go through a bad patch my peripheral vision is very shimmery and can be blurred.

If I was to sit in front of a computer for half an hour or read an article on my phone that would kick the symptoms off.”

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Denton joins an ever lengthening list of rugby players to have to retire due to concussion. 

In the latest RFU figures, taken from the 2017-18 season, 20% of injuries were due to concussion, which was also the most common cause of injury for the previous three years.

© AFP 2019 

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