Chiefs hooker Liam Polwart retires at 24 on medical grounds

Liam Polwart joined Chiefs in 2017
Liam Polwart joined Chiefs in 2017
©PA

Chiefs hooker Liam Polwart has announced his retirement from professional rugby with immediate effect following concussion related issues.

The 24-year-old, who has represented Bay of Plenty, New Zealand Under 20 and Maori All Blacks in the past has been part of Chiefs since the 2017 season and has made 25 appearances since then but his career was hampered by concussions.

“It has been a difficult decision to make to leave the game I love,” he told the Chiefs’ official website.

“It has provided me with plenty of great friendships and some awesome experiences. I have had some ongoing issues with concussion, and while I am currently symptom free, I have chosen to hang up my boots and not to put myself at further risk.

“I am grateful for the opportunities rugby has provided me and the support I have received. Now it is time to start a new chapter.”

After missing the start of the 2017 season with a head knock, he began to make a name for himself during the 2018 season where he made 14 appearances before he was sidelined ahead of the 2019 season after suffering a concussion during the pre-season camp.

Chiefs forwards coach Neil Barnes lavished praise on Polwart and wished him good luck on his future endeavours.

“Polwart is a fantastic individual, he is a talented player and can be proud of his achievements in his short yet prosperous career,” he said.

“It is a testament to his character to have chosen to make this decision for his own well-being and we applaud him for being so courageous. We wish him all the best for the future and hope he will return to the game and inspire a future generation.”

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