Bristol Bears centre Will Hurrell has retired from the game on specialist medical advice. The 30-year-old left the field in the second half in the loss to the Tigers on January 4 with what looked to be a concussion. He did not feature for the Bears again before revealing that he had suffered a stroke in February.

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Now he has taken the decision to leave the game following medical advice. “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,” Hurrell told the Bristol Bears website.

“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.

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Mako Vunipola takes on Jack Nowell in an all-English quarter-final of the RugbyPass FIFA charity tournament

“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.

“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.

“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.”

A strong, abrasive ball carrier, Hurrell was loaned out to Bath in 2018 but returned to Bristol Bears upon their return to the Premiership. The 6’1, 17-stone centre has been with Bristol since 2016.

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