Former Wallaby Smith retires after concussion issues

Super Rugby
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Former Rebel and Wallabies prop Toby Smith has opted to retire after a series of concussions.

Smith, who played for the Wallabies at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, began his career with the Chiefs before joining the Rebels in Super Rugby.

The 31-year-old returned to New Zealand to play with the Hurricanes ahead of the 2018 season but has decided against seeking a contract renewal.

Smith said in a statement on Tuesday that he wasn't willing to put himself in danger of any further damage after finally being declared symptom-free.

ā€œI am making the difficult choice now to leave the game I love and that has given me so many amazing experiences and where I have made some life-long friendships," he said.

"I have had some on-going issues with concussion, and while I am currently symptom-free, I do not wish to put that at further risk.

ā€œIā€™m really grateful for the support and encouragement I have had from the Hurricanes and NZR and I now look forward to new challenges."

Hurricanes coach John Plumtree praised Smith for his efforts in his two seasons with the Wellington outfit.

"Despite injuries and concussion, Toby (Hurricane #240), has been a fantastic Hurricane epitomised by his outstanding performance in his last match for us in the 2019 Super Rugby semi-final," he said.

"We will certainly miss him but player welfare must continue to be the number 1 priority.ā€