James Broadhurst retires from rugby


James Broadhurst made his test debut for the All Blacks in their 2015 Rugby Championship test against South Africa in Johannesburg.

One-test All Black James Broadhurst is hanging up his boots after struggling to recover from a concussion suffered in 2015.

The 29-year-old lock has continued to suffer from headaches with medical specialists advising him to keep his heart rate below 120-beats-per-minute to avoid them. This made exercising – let-alone playing rugby – practically impossible.

Broadhurst enjoyed a breakout season for the Hurricanes in 2015, winning a spot in the All Blacks to make his test debut against the Springboks at Ellis Park, Johannesburg. New Zealand were 27-20 winners that day.

Maarten Holl/ Fairfax NZ

Lock James Broadhurst enjoyed a breakout year in New Zealand rugby in 2015 as a key figure in the Hurricanes’ Super Rugby campaign.

Later that year he suffered a head knock in a Mitre 10 Cup match while playing for Taranaki against Wellington. He has not played rugby since.

* Plenty of Taranaki support for Broadhurst
* NZR medical boss: Rugby on top of concussion
NZR monitoring brain bleed technology


Broadhurst said it had been difficult to be advised by medical experts to walk away from the game he loved, but ultimately it was the right advice.

“I’ve been away from the game for a little over 18 months and still experience symptoms which affect my daily life,” he said.

“Some extensive efforts have gone into getting me back to sport by medical professionals in and out of rugby. Even though it hasn’t resulted in the outcome I had hoped for, I owe each and every one of them a huge debt, as my health has improved massively and this will undoubtedly give me quality of life in the future.”

In announcing his retirement, Broadhurst publicly acknowledged the assistance and support he’d received from his partner Brooke, friends, family, and the rugby community including Taranaki, the Hurricanes and New Zealand Rugby.

“The support I’ve received from players and management has been overwhelming. I’d like to thank every player and coach I’ve been involved with over the years who have assisted me on my rugby path, and everyone who will assist me during my transition to the next stage of life.

“They say for a door to open, others must close, so I look forward to the next chapter in anticipation, rather than looking back at the…

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