Ireland and Ulster centre Jared Payne has been forced to retire from the game after failing to recover sufficiently from the concussion he suffered last year.
Payne, 32, hasn’t been able to play since taking a head knock during the British & Irish Lions’ midweek game against the Chiefs on 20 June 2017. He has been suffering from severe migraines since the incident took place almost a year ago, despite receiving constant medical attention for his condition.
On Monday, the IRFU said Payne had called time on his playing career and will take up the position of defence coach at Ulster.
Commenting on his new role, Payne said: ‘It’s been a good ride but unfortunately every good thing has to come to an end. Playing rugby has taken me to places I never thought I’d see and allowed me to meet people I never thought I’d meet.
‘I would like to thank all of the medical professionals who have supported me since my injury occurred back in June last year. I’m extremely grateful for your considerable care and attention. While I will undoubtedly miss the buzz of running out with mates every weekend, I have to listen to the medical advice and unfortunately give up the dream. However, I’ve surprised myself with how much I have enjoyed coaching and I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into this role on a permanent basis.’
Payne, who is originally from Tauranga in New Zealand, represented Ulster on 78 occasions and earned 20 Test caps for Ireland.
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