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Oyonnax's Kiwi full-back Tony Ensor has retired with immediate effect

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Former Highlanders full-back Tony Ensor has retired with immediate effect following an injury picked up in a Top 14 match in August with Oyonnax, the French club he joined in 2019 after an initial two years with Stade Francais.

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A club statement read: “It is with great emotion that we announce the end of the career of our full-back Tony Ensor, effective immediately.

“The 32-year-old New Zealander suffered a concussion during the match at Stade Francais at the end of August and has not returned to the pitch since. Tony is forced to end his career for medical reasons. Touched by this sudden news, Oyonnax Rugby intends to remain close to the player who will be accompanied by his family in the coming months.

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“Trained in Otago, passed by the Highlanders in Super Rugby, it was in Paris that he made his debut in France in 2017. Arrived in Haut-Bugey in 2019, he wore the Oyonnax tunic for five years, playing 63 games and scoring 11 tries, winning the title of champion of France PRO D2 in 2023, showing all his speed and technique over the seasons.

“This announcement is intended to serve as a reminder of the club’s commitment to the prevention and monitoring of concussions in rugby.

“For example, the referent doctor Olivier Rajon has been trained on the dietary monitoring of players – to support the group as much as possible – because it has been shown that food supplements can promote recovery after a concussion.

“In addition, players will now benefit from a cooling helmet, which will limit the consequences of the trauma related to the concussion, as soon as a concussion is diagnosed. More than ever, Oyonnax Rugby supports Tony and wishes him all the best for the future.”

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Oyonnax manager Joe El Abd added: “Tony will remain in support of the group, safe and off the pitch. Even though he can’t play anymore, we still consider him a full member of the group.”

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