Former Scotland back row Blade Thomson retires due to head injury

By Sports Desk February 16, 2023

Former Scotland international Blade Thomson has retired from rugby due to a head injury.

Thomson, who has spent the last five years with Welsh side Scarlets, issued a statement on Thursday to confirm his decision.

Scarlets boss Dwayne Peel said at a press conference on Tuesday that Thomson was out with a head problem, adding that it was a "work in progress".

However, the player has now taken the decision to hang up his boots at the age of 32.

New Zealand-born Thomson won 10 caps for Scotland, including playing at the 2019 World Cup in Japan.

In a statement released through Scarlets, Thomson said: "Myself and my family have come to this decision and I'd like to thank everyone, coaches, players, the back-room and medical staff and all the fans for their support.

"We've been made welcome from the moment we came to Llanelli. It's a special place to play and I'm proud of what I've achieved, making more than 50 appearances for the Scarlets and having the honour of representing Scotland.

"We will leave with fond memories of our time here."

Scarlets will honour Thomson with a presentation following Saturday's United Rugby Championship game against Edinburgh.

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    Warren Gatland’s winless visitors arrive at the Aviva Stadium as major underdogs on the back of narrow championship defeats to Scotland and England amid a transitional period.

    Reigning champions Ireland have not lost at home in three years and are in pole position to retain their crown following thumping bonus-point victories over France and Italy.

    Munster flanker O’Mahony, who returns as one of seven personnel changes from the 36-0 victory over the Azzurri in round two, believes Wales’ players are a “different animal” when representing their country.

    “I think a banana skin is a disrespectful term for this Welsh team,” said the 34-year-old.

    “I’ve learnt the hard way a good few times; these people are very, very proud and they grow massively when they pull on that red shirt.

    “They’re a different animal, a different team and I’ve been on the receiving end of some heavy losses to these guys a few times.

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    “That’s what we’ll 100 per cent be expecting tomorrow.”

    Ireland are chasing an 18th successive home win to equal England’s record, set in 2017, of 11 consecutive Six Nations victories.

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  • Wales out to unsettle ‘world-class’ Ireland – Warren Gatland Wales out to unsettle ‘world-class’ Ireland – Warren Gatland

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    Furbank’s second coming

     

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    Cautious optimism

    England arrive at Murrayfield with two wins in the bank and alongside Ireland they are the only unbeaten team left in the tournament. Coupled with their bronze medal finish at the World Cup and that should be cause for optimism when they face Scotland for the 142nd time. But a side in transition that is attempting to evolve its attack and get to grips with a new blitz defence has so far faced the Six Nations’ two weakest sides. The level of competition cranks up significantly on Saturday and while there is no danger of Borthwick’s resilient side being blown away, defeat would signpost another Championship of underachievement.

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