Stormers lock David Meihuizen’s shock decision to call it a day on his rugby career due to a concussion is “gutting”, according to head coach John Dobson.
The towering lock has decided to walk away from the game at the age of 24, on advice from the Stormers medical team after consulting numerous specialists.
Meihuizen has been part of the Western Province Rugby system since leaving school, having attended the Western Province Rugby Institute in 2016 and representing both Western Province U19 and Western Province U21 before going on to make his senior debut in 2018.
He ends his career with 23 Western Province caps and eight caps for the Stormers, the last of which came in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship encounter with Connacht in Galway.
Meihuizen had recently returned from a long-term knee injury, but given a history with concussion was being monitored carefully by the DHL Stormers medical staff.
Following a knock to the head late in the game against Connacht, he was treated by Stormers doctor Jason Suter, who subsequently referred him to a neurologist.
Suter said that given Meihuizen’s history of concussion, this was something that he and the medical staff had been alert to for some time.
“Unfortunately this is not the first time David had felt prolonged post-concussion symptoms, so we have been monitoring him closely for some time.
“All correct procedures were being followed in order to get him back on the field safely, but it was not to be and while it is very sad that he has had to make the decision to walk away from the game on medical advice, it is ultimately the right call with his future beyond rugby in mind,” he said.
Stormers head coach John Dobson said that Meihuizen’s retirement is a big loss to the squad, given that he was in the early stages of a highly promising career.
“Everyone here is absolutely gutted for Dave, he was a player of immense potential who had a fantastic attitude towards the game and his presence will definitely be missed around the squad.
“He is a smart guy with far more going for him than just his rugby abilities, so he has made the right decision here, as difficult as it may have been.
“I am also proud of the way our medical staff handled the situation, which shows that we are taking head injuries seriously and putting the players first.
“We all wish him everything of the best for the future and know he will make a success of whatever he does next,” he said.
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