Stoddart forced to retire
January 7, 2013
Morgan Stoddart has seen what was a promising career cut short by injury © Getty Images
Scarlets and Wales fullback Morgan Stoddart has been forced to retire having failed to fully recover from a horrific double leg fracture he suffered in a Rugby World Cup warm-up clash against England in 2011.
Stoddart returned to action back in October following over a year of treatment and detailed individual rehabilitation work but having suffered continued pain and problems with his leg at every stage of his recovery, he has accepted medical advice and called time on his career.
"It is with real sadness that I have to announce my retirement from rugby and it has been a difficult few months as I come to terms with the fact that I was not going to return to full fitness," the 28-year-old said in a statement. "I have been very fortunate to play for the Scarlets and Wales and have enjoyed every game in my professional career working alongside some brilliant fellow professionals.
"I worked as hard as possible in the year I was off to get back on the pitch and that can be a difficult period for any injured player mentally, as well as physically, but I was determined to get back to playing.
"But ever since I've been back on the field I've had significant pain in the leg throughout and that has not improved. Following a series of medical tests and consultations, detailed scans and strength tests, I've been advised that I cannot continue."
Stoddart joined the Scarlets in 2006 and quickly established himself as an exciting attacking option with his form rewarded with a Wales call-up the following year. He scored a try on his international debut against South Africa but did not become a regular fixture until 2011 and was on course for his first World Cup before suffering his injury at Twickenham.
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby said: "It is very disappointing for Morgan and for all the Scarlets team and our supporters to see a player of his ability and quality forced to retire early.
"He's been a player of real class and quality within our regional ranks ever since he joined the Scarlets and a player that you can rely on to make a difference in games and give you an edge. He has worked so hard to try and recover from this horrific injury and credit to him for even getting that close, that shows his great mental strength and commitment.
"We are very sorry to see him go and every one of the team and I am sure all our supporters wish him all our very best in his future life off the field and as Scarlets we will support him as much as we can in whatever he chooses to do."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September