Will Hurrell will retire from professional rugby with immediate effect, following medical advice.
The 30 year-old centre suffered a probable stroke following the Gallagher Premiership clash versus Leicester Tigers on Saturday, January 5th.
A fan’s favourite at Ashton Gate, Hurrell made 68 appearances during his four seasons with the club.
“After speaking with specialists, I’ve been advised that I can’t engage in any contact sports because of my head injury. It’s been a really challenging year for me personally, but I accept this is the right decision for me and my family,” said Hurrell.
“I’ve been lucky to have played the sport I love and to have met brilliant people along the way. I’m proud of the career I’ve had and to have represented some fantastic clubs.
“Bristol has become my second home and I have genuinely loved every minute. I can’t thank the supporters enough for how welcome they have made me, and I’ll still be supporting the team at Ashton Gate.
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Today is the day I announce my retirement from rugby. I suffered a stroke after a tackle in the Leicester game which has ended my career. It is much sooner than I would have liked, I felt I had much more to give. Rugby has been everything to me and I will miss playing more than I can express but new challenges await which I can’t wait to start. Every club I have been at has left something special with me and that I can never lose. Leicester, Coventry, Stourbridge, Doncaster and Bristol, I love them all. I have made friends I will never lose and that is priceless. I also want to say an enormous thank you to Matt Leek and the RPA who have been unbelievable support through this time. Also Bristol who have given me 4 immense years, all the coaching, s snd c staff and medical staff that have helped me through this journey, the fans too have been amazing. And my parents, who have helped me through everything. Again thank you to everyone who has made my journey successful and enjoyable. My new instagram and my new journey (@williamharryhurrell). Thank you everyone, see you soon ✌🏻 Hurricane x
“When I told Pat about the news, he called a video conference team meeting and I spoke to the boys and they shared some really special messages. It was very emotional, but just hits home what an amazing culture we have at the Bears.
“Wherever this club ends up, there’s a sense of pride that I’ve played my part in that journey and made some friends for life along the way. Rugby has taught me many important values that I will carry into the next chapter of my life.”
LIST | 20 internationals out of contract in 2020
WHICH international rugby players throughout Europe could be available for nothing when their contracts expire at the end of the season?
1. Sergio Parisse (Italy)
According to RUCK sources, the Italy legend could continue his professional career in 2020/21 after London Irish offered him a lucrative one-year contract. Talks between the club and player are thought to be early but have been described as ‘positive’. Parisse left Stade Francais last summer, signing a one-year contract with three-time European champions Toulon.
2. Matt Kvesic (England)
The England flanker has reportedly “agreed a deal” to return to boyhood club Worcester Warriors. Kvesic headed to Gloucester having emerged through the academy at Sixways, before moving to Sandy Park. According to The Rugby Paper, the 27-year-old’s availability has been pounced upon by Worcester director of rugby Alan Solomons.
3. Hadleigh Parkes (Wales)
His international career could be over as he looks set to leave Scarlets to join Panasonic Wild Knights in Japan. The New Zealand-born player qualified on residency grounds after joining Scarlets in 2014.
4. Paul Hill (England)
The Northampton Saints prop is out of contract at the end of the season and is set to depart Franklin’s Gardens. Bath is where he’ll end up, according to The Rugby Paper.
5. Chris Robshaw (England)
Having already announced that he’s leaving Harlequins, it was thought that the former England captain, who win 66 caps between 2008 and 2016, would be heading across the pond to play Major League Rugby. However, with that move under threat, he could end up anywhere.