At 32 ex Worcester Warriors captain, Jonathan Thomas was forced to bring his rugby playing career to an end. The Wales International was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2014, which has been thought to have been from multiple head traumas, leading to brain injury.
“It’s with real sadness I have to announce my retirement from the game with immediate effect,” he said.
“I was diagnosed with epilepsy last season, which is thought to be from multiple head traumas and has led to a degree of brain injury.
“I’ve done everything in my power to keep playing, however, there comes a point when you realise you need to listen to medical experts and also do what’s best for your wellbeing.”
Geoff Berkley via Worcester Observer adds:“During a successful international career amassing 67 appearances for Wales, Thomas played a starring role at the 2003 and 2007 Rugby World Cups and was named in eight consecutive Six Nations squads between 2004 and 2011, featuring in two Grand Slam winning teams.
At club level, Thomas enjoyed a ten-year spell at Welsh region Ospreys where he made a club-record equalling 188 appearances, including four league titles and an Anglo-Welsh cup.
He then moved to Sixways in 2013, making 44 appearances for Warriors in two seasons and director of rugby Dean Ryan hailed his work at the club.”
Mr. Thomas considers himself fortunate enough when compared to different people with acquired brain injury: “I’m keen to stress there are many different types of epilepsy and I’m fortunate to only suffer from it in a mild way compared to some. Naturally though, it has proved too difficult to continue as a professional athlete.” Here at Headway, we are happy to see that any further damage leading to more severe issues has now been ceased, and despite his inability to continue a rugby-playing career, we hope to see him involved in Worcester’s RFC in other ways.