Wilkinson retires from rugby with immediate effect
March 26, 2014
Brett Wilkinson (left) has been forced to retire © Getty Images
Connacht prop Brett Wilkinson has announced his retirement from the game.
Wilkinson, 30, played 183 games for the province but the match against Saracens in January proved to be his last. He suffered ligament damage in his neck and has been forced to wear a neck brace to stabilise the damage.
Wilkinson said: "It has, of course, come as a big shock for me that I have to retire so suddenly. I'm devastated that I won't play again but the nature of my injury was very serious and I have to appreciate that I have my health."
Head coach Pat Lam added: "From the moment I arrived here, I was able to recognise Brett as a true 'team man'. He is not afraid of hard work and he represents what it is to be a Connacht man and wear the Connacht jersey.
"While I am extremely disappointed for him at this time, I am also very relieved that he is fit and healthy beyond rugby."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Maria Sharapova saw her hopes of finishing the year as world No.1 dashed after she was eliminated from the WTA Finals despite beating Agnieszka Radwanska on Friday
Manu and Alesana nominate Andy Tuilagi as the best of the brothers.
Lotus is just a few finalised details away from confirming Romain Grosjean as its second race driver for 2015
Andy Murray is in to the semi-finals of the Valencia Open after coming from behind to beat Kevin Anderson 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4
Eli Walker has suffered another injury setback and is set to be out for six weeks with an ankle injury
Who was the first player capped straight out of the Stirling County club?
ESPN looks at the complex mess surrounding the Caterham F1 team and how even a plan to bring in the team's cleaner couldn't stop the team going into administration
Torquay United have launched an investigation into their club mascot after the novelty seagull became involved in a foul-mouthed tirade at his own fans
"I had a couple of injuries before but this was different." Tom Hamilton talks to Scott Williams about the O'Driscoll tackle, Wales and Scarlets
Some of the players in the WTA Tour finals have not yet won a Grand Slam singles title. How often has this - or the men's equivalent - been won by a non-major champion?
Carlo Ancelotti says Mario Balotelli did nothing wrong when he swapped shirts with Pepe at half-time during Real Madrid's Champions League destruction of Liverpool on Wednesday
Manchester United will offer goalkeeper Victor Valdes a contract, depending on how he trains and performs physically over the coming weeks, a club source has told ESPN
Didier Drogba has added to Chelsea's injury concerns ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash at Manchester United by admitting that he is still not fully fit
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has defended the conduct of midfielder Raheem Sterling, claiming he was entitled to have a night out after coming back from international duty with England
Brendan Rodgers has refused to guarantee Mario Balotelli's long-term future at Liverpool - even though the striker is only two months into a three-year contract
Mario Balotelli's shirt-swapping antics may have landed him in hot water with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers - but he isn't the only player to get into trouble for stripping off early
Imagine Brendan Rodgers' despair when he saw out-of-form striker Mario Balotelli appear without his Liverpool shirt, instead carrying that of Real's Portuguese defender Pepe...
After Adel Taarabt and Harry Redknapp were told to stop their embarrassing spat by QPR chairman Tony Fernandes, ESPN took a look at five other players who were deemed by their managers to be a little too fond of their food
How good is Gennady Golovkin? ESPN's Nick Parkinson talks to Matthew Macklin about the boxer he ranks as the most dominant middleweight since Bernard Hopkins
A failed footballer who enjoyed a champagne lifestyle by pretending to be a Premier League star has been jailed for four years for £163,000 worth of fraud