Home England James Davies has retired with immediate effect

James Davies has retired with immediate effect

by Saba Gulmagarashvili

James Davies, a flanker for Wales and the Scarlets, has announced his retirement from rugby with immediate effect due to a concussion. Since obtaining his eleventh Wales Test cap against Georgia at Parc y Scarlets in October 2020, the forward, also known as ‘Cubby,’ hasn’t played.

James Stated:

“I have enjoyed every minute of my career here at the Scarlets and made some amazing friends along the way, but after speaking to specialists it’s pretty clear I can’t go on playing rugby,”

“At the moment, thankfully, I am able to lead a normal life, something I wasn’t able to do for a long time after the knock I had. Any bang to the head in training or in a game and I could go back to the start of all this, which is unthinkable for me. It has been a tough couple of years, but the support I have had from my family, friends, teammates, coaches and the club has been incredible and I am hugely grateful for that.”

James Davies: Scarlets and Wales flank forced to retire due to concussion

Davies made his Scarlets debut against the Dragons in the LV=Cup in 2013. Since then, he’s played 101 times for the Scarlets, establishing himself as one of the best opensides in the PRO12 and PRO14. He was a tough presence at the breakdown who had refined his handling abilities on the World Series sevens circuit.

In 2017, he scored four tries in the Scarlets’ PRO12 title-winning victory over Munster in Dublin, and a week earlier in the same city, he earned one of many man-of-the-match awards after stepping in on the wing – following the dismissal of Steff Evans – to help the Scarlets become the first team in the competition to win an away semi-final.

“I have some amazing memories in a Scarlets shirt, obviously those two weekends in Dublin, La Rochelle at home, when I also had to play on the wing! Toulon at home in Europe, Bath away, beating Munster at Thomond Park that year, they all stand out.

“But I will remember the boys and the stuff off the field just as much. There are team-mates, some who have come and gone from the Scarlets, who I consider lifelong friends. I will miss all that banter, although I’m not sure the boys will! I’d like to also thank the fans for all their support throughout my time; hearing them chant my name motivated me every day to get myself back on that pitch to play.”

James Davies: Wales and Scarlets flanker announces retirement - BBC Sport

Davies earned his maiden Wales cap against Italy in 2018 and went on to win three man-of-the-match awards during the 2018 Argentina trip. After that, he was picked in Wales’ World Cup team for Japan in 2019, alongside his older brother Jonathan.

Former Wales sevens captain, the Bancyfelin product competed in the Commonwealth Games and was a member of the Team GB side that won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, proudly supporting the Scarlets.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel stated: 

“Cubby has been a great Scarlet, a phenomenal player who gave everything for the shirt and a huge character around the group. Even when not playing, he has been enthusiastic and fantastic around the squad. He loves the club and loves everything about the place and just wants to help the side improve in whatever way he can.

“We have all seen how hard he has worked to try and get back on the field. It has been tough for him because you know how much he has missed playing, but a person’s health always has to come first. I’m sure Cub will continue to have a big impact on rugby, the game needs his knowledge and foresight. We all wish him well with what comes next.”

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