Broken neck ends Ansbro's career
May 15, 2013
Joe Ansbro in action for Scotland during the 2011 World Cup © PA Photos
London Irish and Scotland centre Joe Ansbro has announced his retirement from rugby after he failed to recover from a serious neck injury he sustained back in August.
Ansbro broke his neck playing for London Irish against Munster in a pre-season friendly but he avoided any serious nerve damage. Ansbro, who won the last of his 11 caps against Samoa in June 2012, had suffered a fractured vertebrae. Since then, he has been working with the Scottish medical staff in an attempt to get back on the field, but he has been advised to retire.
"To gain international recognition with Scotland has been an immense honour; victories over South Africa and Australia stand out," Ansbro said. "Playing this great game at the highest level is a privilege and I will always look back on my career with fond memories."
He added: "Thank you also to all the supporters, players, coaches and staff at Scottish Rugby for making the responsibility of representing Scotland such an enjoyable experience. I'd especially like to thank James Peckitt (London Irish physiotherapist) and Doctor James Robson for helping me through a difficult rehabilitation process.
"Finally, thank you to my family, friends and agent for their continuing support and positive influence."
The news sees Ansbro call time on a career that has involved spells with both Northampton Saints and the Exiles. He collected 11 caps for Scotland and ran out for them in the 2011 World Cup.
Scotland captain Kelly Brown paid tribute to Ansbro, saying: "Joe has been a truly talented rugby player and an all-round good guy. I'm sure we'll miss him but, equally, I'm delighted that he'll be able to get on with normal life outside rugby. Good luck Joe."
And his club coach at London Irish Brian Smith also added his praise for Ansbro. "This is incredibly sad news for Joe and for everyone at London Irish. He has remained extremely committed to the club during his injury and his presence around the squad has been a huge lift for all the players.
"He is a very intelligent and articulate young man and I have no doubt that he will be as committed to his next career as he has been to rugby. Everyone at the club wishes Joe all the best for the future."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"It does sometimes get tough as you get older, but there's nothing else I'd rather do." Tom Hamilton talks to fly-half Dan Carter
Stingers, a rampaging Fijian and two Dannys looking to be champions of the world - Monday Maul looks at some key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Top 14, Super Rugby and the Aviva Premiership with fireworks and monsters both featuring
Firdose Moonda looks at the moves towards greater integration within South African rugby ... and what the future holds