CONNACHT HAVE ANNOUNCED that Dave McSharry has been forced to retire from professional rugby due to a concussion injury.

The 26-year-old underwent a review of his concussion issue with a neurologist last week and was advised to retire.

McSharry played for Connacht 65 times. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

McSharry played for Connacht 65 times and represented Ireland at ‘A’ level. The Dublin man also trained with the senior Ireland squad on a number of occasions.

The former Ireland U20 international featured only once for Connacht last season due to his concussion injury, playing off the bench in a Challenge Cup game, and has now called time on his playing career.

“Although I am devastated that my time as a player has come to an end, I know that it is the only decision available to me after speaking to the specialist,” said McSharry.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank IRUPA, all the supporters, volunteers, staff, players and my friends and family for their continued support over the years. I would also like to thank all the coaches who have helped me along in my career, from my schoolboy days in Templeogue college, right through to UCD and into the professional set up.

“I leave Connacht Rugby with incredible memories that I will cherish forever and I am hugely proud to be leaving as a Pro12 champion. I wish Pat and the team huge success for the season ahead.”

McSharry celebrates the Pro12 success alongside Kieran Marmion. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Connacht head coach Pat Lam paid tribute to McSharry.

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“It has been a difficult year for Dave but throughout it all he has remained the consummate professional and has contributed greatly as a valued and popular member of our team,” said Lam.

“While we are sad to see him moving on from the set up here, Dave’s health comes first and it is a reminder to all of us that rugby is only a small part of our life journey.

“Dave has achieved a lot in his career and I know that he will go on to achieve in other aspects of his life now. He will have a support system and friends for life from his time at Connacht Rugby and we wish him well for the future.”

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