ESPN SCRUM

/ New Zealand

/ News

New Zealand
Ben Afeaki makes plans for life after rugby
ESPN Staff
June 30, 2014
The Chiefs' Ben Afeaki makes a break against the Highlanders, Highlanders v Chiefs, Super Rugby, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, February 22, 2013
Ben Afeaki has sat out of rugby since he clashed heads with team-mate Brodie Retallick in February © Getty Images
Enlarge
Related Links
In Focus: Concussion debate

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

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.

  • Latest
  • Most Viewed
  • News
  • Features
  • Football

    FIFA whistleblower urges clubs to apply pressure for change

    FIFA whistleblower Bonita Mersiades has urged leading European clubs to put pressure on world football's governing body to reform

  • Golf

    Steve Stricker to return from back surgery at the Masters

    Steve Stricker intends to play the Masters next week, his first competition since back surgery four months ago

  • Formula 1

    Ecclestone keen on all-female world championship

    Bernie Ecclestone has suggested the creation of an all-female world championship to run alongside Formula One to encourage more women to enter the sport

  • Football

    Messi ranks top, Ronaldo 29th in European striker study

    Lionel Messi has been the best performing forward in Europe's elite leagues in 2015, according to a CIES Football Observatory study, while it ranked Cristiano Ronaldo only 29th among forwards

  • Rugby

    Champions Cup semi-finals venues confirmed

    Toulon will return to a happy hunting ground if they beat Wasps on Sunday in the last of the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-finals

  • News
  • Features

Sponsored Links

Make Huge Income from your Home
Download your Free Guide And Learn How To Increase Your Monthly Income