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Lewis Carmichael has retired from playing with immediate effect aged just 26

By PA
(Photo by Bill Murray / SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Former Scotland lock Lewis Carmichael has been forced to retire aged just 26 after doctors warned he would be putting his long-term health at risk if he continued his rugby career. Edinburgh forward Carmichael made a try-scoring international debut against Canada during the Scots’ 2018 summer tour, winning his second and final cap a week later against the United States.

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But a string of concussions suffered in recent months for his club side alarmed doctors, who have now advised Carmichael to hang up his boots. “Unfortunately, I’ve taken the decision to retire following advice from my medical advisers having sustained a number of concussions over a short period of time,” he said.

I’m obviously gutted I will no longer be playing professional rugby but I know it’s the right decision having discussed my situation with a number of specialists and the medical teams at both Edinburgh and Scottish rugby.” Carmichael made his Edinburgh debut against Munster in 2016 and went on to make 47 appearances for his hometown team.

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He added: “I really do look back on my memories with Edinburgh with great fondness – the connections I have made with teammates will be friendships that I have for the rest of my days. It was obviously a huge honour and dream come true getting my first cap for Scotland against Canada. My dad was out there and saw me play, so it was just an amazing feeling and a really proud moment for my family.”

Carmichael has now signed up to the Scottish Rugby Union’s player support programme which will help him prepare for life after rugby.

He continued: “Looking ahead, I have not made any final decisions on what I want to do next season but, as a rugby fan, I’m really keen to stay in the sport in some capacity and do some coaching. There’s nothing nailed down at the moment but I’m going to take a bit of time to just relax and plan my next steps – I’m excited about that next challenge.”

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Edinburgh boss Richard Cockerill said: “As a club, we are obviously gutted for Lewis. It’s never easy to see any player step away from the game at a young age. He’s a good man and a player that has given a lot to Edinburgh over the years. He’ll be sorely missed by the coaching staff and squad, and we wish him all the very best.”

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Lewis Carmichael has retired from playing with immediate effect aged just 26

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