Ireland-based Zimbabwean rugby star Angus Curtis says he is “sad” as Ulster confirmed the versatile back has retired after sustaining two concussions earlier this season.
Ulster say the 25-year-old, who made his debut in 2018, was advised by a specialist that he should retire.
Curtis earned 25 Ulster caps having joined the province’s academy in 2017.
He said: “I’m sad to be ending things this way but, at the same time, I’ve loved my time at Ulster Rugby and in Belfast over the last seven years.”
The Zimbabwe-born player, who represented Ireland at Under-20 level, added: “I’d like to thank everyone involved with this amazing club, as you have all contributed to my time here in a positive way. I’ve made some great friends and memories over the years here, and for that I’m extremely grateful.
“Wishing the players and staff all the very best for the remainder of the season, and for the seasons to come.”
Curtis sustained the first concussion in Ulster’s win over Zebre in October.
Having been cleared to return to action, the second concussion occurred during an Ulster training session.
Curtis, who signed a contract extension with Ulster last April, struggled with injuries during his career, spending over a year on the sidelines after injuring his anterior cruciate ligament in December 2019.
Paying tribute to Curtis, who could play at centre or fly-half, Ulster head coach Dan McFarland said: “Following Angus’ decision to retire from professional rugby, I would like to wish him the best for his future on behalf of everyone at Ulster Rugby.
“Angus has had a difficult number of years on an injury front, but has never failed to face those challenges in the same way he approached his rugby – front on.
“Everyone here is very disappointed to see him go because we will miss him as a person and a player.
“The qualities of humour, caring, smarts and toughness that he brought to the squad will make him successful in whatever he chooses to do.”