Rugby star forced to retire from rugby after punch to head

James Stannard’s hopes of a World Cup Sevens return have been dashed, with the veteran announcing his retirement on Saturday.

Stannard had planned to retire after that tournament, but brought that forward after failing to fully recover in time from the incident that left him with a fractured skull and forced him out of the Commonwealth Games.

“I just started getting a bit light-headed and a few headaches and I just thought at that time, if I can’t get through this light sort of training, there’s no way in the world I can get through a tournament,” Stannard said.

Stannard will bow out as one of Australia’s most-decorated Sevens players, and the country’s top World Series points scorer of all-time.

He has represented Australia in two Commonwealth Games, winning a bronze and silver medal in Delhi and Glasgow, and has played XVs, both with the Western Force in Super Rugby and in Japan.

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