Ben Afeaki makes plans for life after rugby
June 30, 2014
Ben Afeaki has sat out of rugby since he clashed heads with team-mate Brodie Retallick in February © Getty Images
Ben Afeaki is the latest high-profile rugby player to publicise the brutal effects of concussion, making plans for a life outside the game less than 12 months after making his Test debut for the All Blacks.
Afeaki has not played rugby since he clashed heads with Chiefs team-mate Brodie Retallick in mid-February, his third head knock in three years, and he is still suffering the symptoms of concussion, "mainly nausea and fogginess in the mornings".
"The most is nausea," Afeaki told Fairfax Media in New Zealand. "Normally I get it from concentrating too much; reading or looking at screens. And when I hop in the car I tend to get it a bit. Four out of seven mornings, I wake up feeling a little foggy. It kind of goes away and then comes back for maybe five or 10 minutes during the day."
Afeaki said he had been "battling ever since" his clash with Retallick. "It's been really hard. It's given me a lot of time to start organising my life after rugby. If I get another one or this one doesn't clear up, I'll have to throw in the towel."
Afeaki thought he was "good to go" after eight weeks only to suffer "a light knee to the head at training" and he "knew it'd be a while because the head was no good".
"As soon as my symptoms clear up I'm itching to go out there and train and get back to playing", but mental skills coach David Galbraith has been helping him accept that he may have to quit rugby.
"We've talked through the possibility of not returning," Afeaki said. "That's something I'd have to deal with if it comes around. You focus on something to try and achieve your goals and if it comes to an end I'll be able to make new goals in other areas of my life; goals outside of rugby."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says Diego Costa did not start his side's opening Champions draw with Schalke because the striker was not fit enough
Manchester City came within minutes of a precious point in Munich only for Jerome Boateng to haunt his former club with a wonder winner
Chelsea were denied victory in their opening Champions League group game against Schalke, but Jose Mourinho's side will only have themselves to blame after wasting several clear-cut chances in the 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge
In a move that has been in the making for months, Adam Scott and caddie Steve Williams have parted ways after a three-plus-year partnership that included the first Masters victory by an Australian golfer
Jonny Evans has been impressed with Manchester United's summer transfer business and believes team-mate Luke Shaw will mature into the best left-back in the world