Bristol Bears centre Will Hurrell has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect on medical grounds.
The decision follows after the 30-year-old suffered a stroke following the Premiership clash against Leicester Tigers at the start of the year. After a consultation with specialists, Hurrell decided to call off his playing career.
"After speaking with specialists, I’ve been advised that I can’t engage in any contact sports because of my head injury. It’s been a really challenging year for me personally, but I accept this is the right decision for me and my family,” said Hurrell in a statement released by the club.
“I’ve been lucky to have played the sport I love and to have met brilliant people along the way. I’m proud of the career I’ve had and to have represented some fantastic clubs.
“Bristol has become my second home and I have genuinely loved every minute. I can’t thank the supporters enough for how welcome they have made me, and I’ll still be supporting the team at Ashton Gate".
Hurrell joined Bristol in 2016 after representing Leicester Tigers, London Welsh and Doncaster in the past. He also had a loan stint with Bath Rugby and overall has featured in 43 Premiership games for the three clubs combined. Hurrell also played 68 times for the club spread across four seasons.
"When I told Pat about the news, he called a video conference team meeting and I spoke to the boys and they shared some really special messages. It was very emotional, but just hits home what an amazing culture we have at the Bears," he added.
“Wherever this club ends up, there’s a sense of pride that I’ve played my part in that journey and made some friends for life along the way. Rugby has taught me many important values that I will carry into the next chapter of my life.”