David Denton has ruled himself out of making the Scotland World Cup squad having not played any rugby since last October due to a concussion that resulted in Leicester standing him down last month for the rest of this season.
Recuperating in Cape Town with his young family, the 29-year-old has even admitted to the possibility that he might never make it back onto a pitch again.
“It’s something I need to think about,” he said in an interview in The Scotsman newspaper. “I’m not a small man [he’s 6ft 5ins and 19 stone] but these days you are coming up against one-ton packs. You’re looking at 20 tackles, 30 big collisions every game at the top level.
“It’s not an ideal situation, it’s incredibly frustrating, the goalposts keep changing in terms of how they assess your recovery but let’s see. I’ve seen guys this season like Leigh Halfpenny and Matty Scott at Edinburgh who have been stood down for a number of months and come back to play.”
Japan 2019 is out his reach, his concussion on this occasion far more troubling than the incident that threatened his participation in England 2015.
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“I was in the wrong place, wrong time,” said Denton about what happened in April 2015, a clattering collision with Paul O’Connell’s hip during an Edinburgh-Munster game.
“My head started to hurt, I didn’t feel good and I had to come straight off. Afterwards I thought I would be back playing in a few weeks. Little did I know that collision with Paul O’Connell’s hip would keep me out for seven weeks and put my World Cup preparations on the back foot. It even made me wonder if I would make the tournament.”
“I’m not a small man but these days you are coming up against one-ton packs. You’re looking at 20 tackles, 30 big collisions every game at the top level.” @Scotlandteam forward David Denton (@dentweezy) on concussion, playing again and life after rugbyhttps://t.co/h0GvhbiNM2
— Scotsman Sport (@ScotsmanSport) April 5, 2019
Denton has praised Leicester for their handling of his latest concussion. “I have another two years left on my contract and Leicester have been unbelievably supportive, I can’t say that enough.
“We’ve had talks and it’s been ‘if you can maybe play six games next season, maybe 20 in the next two’. That’s what we’re looking at. From thinking I maybe had five more years in the game I’m now looking at two and I’m starting to think about life after rugby, prepare for that.”
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