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Aviva Premiership
Veteran forced to quit after concussion injury
ESPN Staff
February 4, 2014
Gloucester's Andy Hazell in action, London Irish v Gloucester, Guinness Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, September 13, 2009
Andy Hazell - his retirement comes after 17 seasons at Kingsholm © Getty Images
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In Focus: Concussion debate

Gloucester's former England flanker Andy Hazell has been forced to retire after failing to recover from concussion sustained in a pre-season friendly.

"For the first time in my career I've listened to my body," he told the BBC. "With the age I am and with my family, I had to listen to what my body was telling me. If I was 25 or 26, I'd 100% be trying to get back onto that pitch no matter what cost."

He said he would be looking to offer help with advising players on concussion "because I wouldn't want to see any young lad going through the same thing when maybe they shouldn't be playing. It's a massive issue. Players are getting bigger and faster, and the collisions are getting a lot bigger. I've been managed brilliantly by the club. Hats off to them."

Hazell, 35, made seven appearances for England and represented Gloucester for 17 seasons, a Premiership record for the longest time spent at a club.

"Looking back, when I was there with England I should have been more confident. But I'll take the seven. I'm happy I managed to play for my country."

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