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.
It is with great sadness that I’m announcing my forced retirement from rugby as a player due to head injuries I recently suffered. It has been my greatest honour and privilege to have been able to pull on the ” Green and Gold ” and represent my country beside my mates, men I count as brothers over the past decade or so. The international rugby family have been so supportive and I’m humbled and thankful I want to thank my family, teammates, staff and opponents both here in Australia and around the world . It’s been a fantastic ride , I’ve learnt so much and enjoyed every minute.
“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.