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Brain injury forces Hughes retirement

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"Major trauma scars" on brain forces ex-Bristol, Exeter and Dragons centre Hughes into retirement

Dragons centre Adam Hughes has been forced to retire early after a neurologist said “playing rugby wasn’t an option” because of a brain injury.

The 28-year-old picked up an injury in September 2017 when playing on the wing against Ulster in the Guinness PRO14 Championship, but despite attempting rehab he’s had to hang up his boots on medical grounds.

“Following a precautionary scan at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, the neurologist said that playing rugby wasn’t an option due to two major trauma scars that I had sustained on my brain, so the decision was made there and then for me,” explained Hughes.

Hughes was a product of the Dragons academy and went on to make 119 appearances for the club since his debut in 2010, scoring 22 tries and 124 points.

He represented Wales at Under 16, 18 and 20 level, but failed to earn a senior cap.

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“Playing for the Dragons has given me some unbelievable moments, and I will never forget running onto the pitch for my first appearance at home against Cardiff Blues in front of a packed Rodney Parade, and almost scoring in the corner with my first touch.

“Any derby wins or knockout competition game we have had over the years will be highlights for me, but going up against Montpellier in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup and all the superstars they had that day will be the big highlight!

“Not forgetting the time I spent at Bristol RFC and Exeter Chiefs, those times were brilliant and I wouldn’t change leaving the Dragons in 2014. As I think that it made me a much better player when I returned to the region the following season.

“Finally I would like to thank my wife & family for all their support over the years and for the number of miles they have clocked up attending home and away games. I would also like to thank the fans for their support – for them to even make their own song for me ‘The Dambusters’ was a good laugh and its things like that and the turnout in the away games at places like Kingsholm that will live with me for a long time to come.

“However rugby wouldn’t have been as enjoyable as it was without a good set of teammates around you and it’s these guys who have made it the best job you could ever have!”

Dragons Head Coach, Bernard Jackman added: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Adam for the huge contribution he has made to the Dragons. He was a versatile player that had brilliant pace and evasion. We wish him well in his next career.”

Hughes is a qualified pilot and has previously stated that his intention was to become a commercial pilot once his career ended.

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"Major trauma scars" on brain forces ex-Bristol, Exeter and Dragons centre Hughes into retirement