Eye poke forces Robinson to retire

    2016-06-07 07:15

    Sydney - Veteran Australia prop Benn Robinson announced his immediate retirement on Tuesday after a seemingly innocuous poke in the eye left him seriously injured.

    The 31-year-old recently underwent surgery to repair his vision after he was accidentally poked in his right eye while playing Super Rugby for the Waratahs in April.

    But after initially thinking the injury was not serious and he could resume playing, doctors advised Robinson to quit.

    He promptly announced his decision on Tuesday through the Rugby Union Players' Association, which he serves as president.

    Current Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Robinson's contribution to Australian rugby would be felt for years to come.

    "Every player who has the honour of playing for the Wallabies has a responsibility to leave their own special mark on the jersey for the next generation to shape and build on, which Benn has certainly done," Cheika said.

    "He should be incredibly proud of what he achieved in his career, and excited about what lies ahead."

    Robinson's former team-mates also paid tribute to his achievements.

    "He's probably a little upset that his time is ending a little prematurely," said former Wallaby and Waratahs colleague Adam Ashley-Cooper, now playing with French Top 14 with Bordeaux.

    "But that's football and life and every rugby player can attest to it being a bit cruel sometimes.

    "I have no doubt that he will get through it and come out to be successful on the other side."

    NSW captain Dave Dennis said Robinson would be sorely missed by the Waratahs.

    "As a playing group we are all disappointed for Benn, having to end his career as a result of his eye injury," Dennis said.

    "Benn has been the cornerstone of our scrum for over a decade and has been a loyal servant in the Waratahs jersey."

    A powerful loose head prop and scrummager, Robinson made his Wallabies debut against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2006 and played his last Test in 2014 against England at Twickenham. His 72 caps are the second most accumulated by an Australian prop.

    He also made 148 Super rugby appearances, a record for the Waratahs, and was a key member of the team that won the tournament in 2014.

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