Edinburgh centre George Taylor has announced his retirement from rugby union aged just 25, after suffering a series of head injuries early on in his pro career
Edinburgh centre George Taylor has explained his decision to “step away” from rugby after a string of head injuries.
Taylor, 25, has made 38 appearances for the Scottish region since debuting against Munster in 2018, scoring six tries, and although he didn’t feature in any games was called into the national squad for the 2021 Six Nations.
However, his career has thus far been plagued by a series of head injuries, and having missed numerous games due to concussion concerns, Taylor took to Twitter on Thursday to announce he was finishing with the sport.
“Sadly I have decided to step away from rugby completely due to injury and health,” he posted.
“The toughest decision I’ve ever had to make. Here’s to new challenges and opportunities!”
Fellow Edinburgh player Pierre Schoeman responded to the tweet by telling Taylor “You will be successful in everything you do bro,” while BBC Scotland Sport writer Tom English said “Such a shame. George Taylor was a talented player. The list of rugby players who have retired due to concussion/brain injury is a seriously long one.”
Taylor revealed he had agonised over his future for months after picking up his latest concussion just before the 2021/22 campaign.
“It’s certainly not been a quick decision. It’s been thought through ever since I got a concussion while in pre-season back in August,” he told the Edinburgh Rugby website.
“It’s been on my mind and I’ve made some sacrifices to try and prepare for life after rugby.”
Taylor, whose brother also retired prematurely from rugby for the same reason, added it was difficult to say goodbye to his team-mates.
“I spoke to the boys and told them my decision earlier this week. Driving into the stadium and walking into BT Murrayfield, I thought ‘this will be fine’, but then I saw all the boys sitting there and it was just a really emotional moment.
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“I thanked them for everything they’ve done in my career; they’ve been a massive part of it.”
Head coach Mike Blair admitted to being saddened to lose Taylor: “It’s never easy to see any player step away from the game at a young age, however, health and family always comes first,” he said.
“It’s clear that George hasn’t taken this decision lightly in any way – rugby is the sport he loves, so I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for him.”