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Otago loose forward Lee Allan has hung up his boots, deciding to give the game away due to concussion.
Allan, who played 35 games for Otago from 2012 to 2016, and two games for the Highlanders in 2014, said in the end it was not a hard decision to stop playing.
"There was just one head knock too many. It was probably getting to the stage where it was getting a bit dangerous. You’ve got to start thinking about the future," the 25-year-old said.
"I really love the game and all that. And luckily I can stay involved with the job I have here with the union although I won’t be playing."
Allan works for the Otago Rugby Football Union as a coaching development officer and it is something he was passionate about.
He picked up two head knocks in 2014 and, at the start of the 2015 season, he suffered a bad concussion in a pre-season match against the Crusaders in Timaru. That forced him out of rugby for all of that year.
He made a return last year for Otago, having started playing club rugby for Crescent in South Otago, while working on a farm in South Otago.
He then moved to Dunedin and played for Kaikorai in the later stages of the club season, being instrumental in helping the club win the banner.
Allan, who hails from Kaitangata, was then selected in the Otago Mitre 10 Cup squad but again picked up two concussionsHe suffered a concussion against Manawatu in the final round of the Mitre 10 Cup and did not play in either of the playoff games.
"It was a bit of a no-brainer to be honest. I still want to have a future and want to be able to enjoy myself. I’ve got a partner to consider and a future with her.
"It was just about how easy I was picking them [concussions] up. I never had any bad symptoms from them but they were still coming."
Allan said he would miss the playing of the game.
"I’ve had a few highlights. The biggest one is just the camaraderie, just being around the boys, helping out, being part of a team. Winning the Ranfurly Shield was a big buzz as was making my debut for Otago in Balclutha.
"And winning a Super rugby title. Even though I didn’t get to play I was part of the squad."
He would not be helping coach any side at this stage as he wanted to dedicate himself to his job with the union in which he helped sides and coaches develop their skills.
Allan and long-term partner Alyce Carson are engaged and are due to be married this time next year.