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Will Hurrell announces retirement from professional rugby

Will Hurrell will retire from professional rugby with immediate effect, following medical advice.

The 30 year-old centre suffered a probable stroke following the Gallagher Premiership clash versus Leicester Tigers on Saturday, January 5th.

A fan’s favourite at Ashton Gate, Hurrell made 68 appearances during his four seasons with the club.

“After speaking with specialists, I’ve been advised that I can’t engage in any contact sports because of my head injury. It’s been a really challenging year for me personally, but I accept this is the right decision for me and my family,” said Hurrell.

“I’ve been lucky to have played the sport I love and to have met brilliant people along the way. I’m proud of the career I’ve had and to have represented some fantastic clubs.

“Bristol has become my second home and I have genuinely loved every minute. I can’t thank the supporters enough for how welcome they have made me, and I’ll still be supporting the team at Ashton Gate.

“When I told Pat about the news, he called a video conference team meeting and I spoke to the boys and they shared some really special messages. It was very emotional, but just hits home what an amazing culture we have at the Bears.

“Wherever this club ends up, there’s a sense of pride that I’ve played my part in that journey and made some friends for life along the way. Rugby has taught me many important values that I will carry into the next chapter of my life.”

A formidable ball carrier, Hurrell also represented London Welsh, Leicester Tigers, Coventry, Bedford Blues and Doncaster.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam said: “Will is a popular team man at the club and we’re sad to see his career cut short by injury. It was a pleasure to work with him and to have him as a friend.

“Will was a player and a character that was a competitor and a fighter. He put his body on the line every time he took the field and showed real courage for the team. We massively respect that and opposition coaches and players feared him every time he played.

“One thing that stood out coaching Will was his enthusiasm and willingness to be a better player. We challenged him constantly to take him out of his comfort zone and improve as a player and he relished that.

“Will leaves the sport and the club as a better person and has a great life ahead of him, whatever he chooses to do. He has played an important role in our club and can look back knowing he will always be a Foundation Bear and he played his part on our journey towards our vision."