London Irish fly-half Theo Brophy-Clews has announced his retirement from professional rugby after failing to recover from concussion symptoms.
A product of London Irish Academy, the 24-year-old made his senior debut during the 2014/15 season in LV Cup against Scarlets and has made 63 appearances for the Exiles across all the competitions scoring over 110 points.
"It is with a heavy heart that I write to announce my retirement from professional rugby due to concussion. After receiving advice from the medical staff at London Irish and the Complex Concussion Clinic, it’s clear to me that I cannot continue to play, as I would be putting both my short-term and my long-term health at risk. I think that rugby is an incredibly special sport and it’s been a dream come true to play it professionally," he said in an open letter.
"The memories I’ve made, the people I’ve met and the challenges I’ve had to go through have made my career incredibly fulfilling and special. Rugby has taught me so much, and, most importantly, how to be a decent person and to enjoy the ride, no matter how tough it gets."
Brophy-Clews, who turned 24 in March has captained England Under 18 and also featured for England Under 20 team during the victorious Junior World Championship in 2016. His appearance came during London Irish's encounter against Bath in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final in April during which he failed a Head Injury Assessment.
"There are too many people to thank here, but know if you’ve ever messaged me, watched a game, or played with me, I’m thankful for you and your support.
"It hit me the other day that there are not many other jobs that you get to earn a living whilst having your family name on your back. I’ve loved representing my whole family every time I ran out onto the pitch.
"My Mum, Dad, big sister and my girlfriend Melanie have made me who I am and have supported me unwaveringly throughout my life and career. I love them more than anything".