Ospreys’ Ben John to take break from rugby after head injuries

Ospreys centre Ben John is to take a 12-month sabbatical from rugby as he recovers from the latest in a series of head injuries.

John was forced off against the Scarlets on Boxing Day after suffering his third head injury in 12 months, which restricted him to 10 appearances in 2017.

The 26-year-old sought specialist advice, which recommended he sit out the remainder of the season, but John has decided to take an extended break.

“I’ve spent a lot of time on the sidelines over the last year, dealing with the effects of head injuries, and it has made me think longer-term than just the next match or the next month,” said John, who was capped by Wales at all age-grade levels.

“When you find yourself in that position it does make you think long and hard about your future.

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“While the specialist opinion is that I’ll be ready to play after a six-month break, I’ve decided it’s in my best interests to take a year out and use that time wisely.

“I want to look at my options in terms of life outside of rugby and prepare for the future, while ensuring I’m fully rested and ready to go again next year.

“The support I’ve had from everybody at the Ospreys has been fantastic, not just over the last year or so while I’ve been dealing with these issues but for the last 10 years, having come through the age-grade system here.

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“I’m grateful for that support which has certainly helped me no end during some tough times.

“Taking time out gives me the opportunity to look at new experiences and options before resuming my career next year refreshed and fully fit.”

Dan Griffiths. rugby general manager at the Ospreys, added: “The last year or so has been very difficult for Ben but he has dealt with it very maturely and, by taking an extended break, is giving himself time to not only look at future options but to ensure he is fully refreshed and in the best possible health for 2019 and beyond.

“We look forward to seeing him back in action soon.”