A young Wigan player has been forced to retire after discovering he had a pre-existing brain condition.
22-year-old Macauley Davies has been forced to hang up the boots after scans revealed he had Chiari Malformation, a condition where the lower part of the brain pushes down into the spinal canal.
The condition was discovered after Davies was sent to see a specialist as part of the return-to-play head injury protocols after sustaining a concussion whilst playing for Swinton Lions.
“The past three weeks have been the toughest three weeks of my life,” he said.
“From getting a serious concussion and having brain scans my whole world has been turned upside down in what feels like just a few minutes.
“To be told you your dreams of playing Rugby League since a little boy is over is the hardest thing I have ever had to hear and to have to make a decision if I want to take a risk and carry on with my dream or to finish it is truly heart-breaking. For me the risks are too high and I have no choice – I have to accept that my health and life are more important than continuing to play.
“During this time it has massively affected my family and loved ones both mentally and emotionally, they have supported me through thick and thin and I can’t thank them enough. I know they will still be proud of me and will stand by me through anything.
“My dream was to play for Wigan, my hometown team that I have supported from a young child, and I can gladly say I’ve done that.”