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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 March 2006, 02:34 GMT
Injury forces Flatley to retire
Elton Flatley is helped from the field
Flatley was forced to retire on medical advice
Australia's Elton Flatley has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 28 because of the effects of a series of head injuries.

Flatley had been suffering with blurred vision after being concussed on several occasions during the last two seasons.

"It was an emotional decision but one that's been made not only in the best interests of Queensland, but also for myself and my family," he said.

Flatley won 38 caps for the Wallabies since making his debut in 1997.

"I would like to thank all the medical staff at Queensland Rugby and the ARU for their wonderful support over the years," added Flatley.

"I'd also like to thank everyone I've been involved with in rugby. I've had a wonderful time playing but it's time to move on.

"I look forward to spending time with my wife Kahli and my children Eva and Josh, and to pursuing a career in business."

The fly-half or centre was a key member of the Australia side which beat the Lions in 2001, and performed superbly in the 2003 World Cup final against England, kicking two late penalties in the final to take the match into extra time.

"Elton is an extremely talented player who has made a strong contribution to the success of the Wallabies, and his premature retirement is a great loss to the game in Australia," said ARU chief executive Gary Flowers.

"He's received ongoing advice from specialists in Melbourne and Brisbane in recent times, and the most important thing is that he has not suffered any long-term or permanent injury."

Flatley was taken off with blurred vision in the Queensland Reds' 29-18 win over Western Force on Saturday, a match which turned out to be his last at the top level.


SEE ALSO
Flatley career hangs in balance
26 Aug 05 |  Six Nations


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