Queensland Rugby announced on Thursday that veteran Wallaby back Elton Flatley will retire from rugby union effective immediately, due to continued blurred vision.
Flatley suffered a head injury last year which kept him out for most of the season, but with medical staff monitoring his condition, he was hopeful of a successful return this year.
Following the Super 14 match against the Western Force last Saturday, medical staff was made aware that Flatley was still suffering blurred vision. Team doctor, Dr Richard Brown, and Flatley met earlier this week and agreed that it would be in his best interests to retire.
Queensland Rugby CEO Theo Psaros said it was a sad day, but the right decision.
"It's a great shame for Queensland and Australia that Elton is retiring today, but his health and welfare should come first," Psaros said.
"Elton is giving up the game he loves but it's the right decision."
The decision has not been an easy one but Flatley said the time was right.
"It was a very emotional decision but one that has been made not only in the best interests of Queensland Rugby, but also for myself and my family.
"I would like to thank all the medical staff at Queensland Rugby and the ARU for their wonderful support over the years," Flatley said.
"I'd also like to thank everyone I've been involved with in rugby. I've had a wonderful time playing but it's time to move on."
"I look forward to spending time with my wife Kahli and my children Eva and Josh, and to pursuing a career in business."
Elton Flatley - Career History:
Elton Flatley has had an illustrious rugby career spanning a decade. Signed as a schoolboy straight out of Nudgee College into the professional senior ranks, he went on achieve many heights.
Elton made his Reds debut in 1996 aged just 18, becoming the youngest player to do so since Michael Lynagh in 1982, and quickly stepped up to the national team in the following year.
He became the youngest player to reach 100 caps for Queensland when he led the team out against the Sharks in Durban in April 2004.
A star of the Wallabies World Cup campaign, Elton's ice-cool kicking in the Final won him thousands of new admirers as he landed huge pressure penalties to keep Australia in the match.
Elton also scored the third fastest Super 12 try of all time (amazingly behind two other Reds players Latham & Kefu) when he pounced after just 26 seconds of the opening game against the Hurricanes at Ballymore.
He is currently completing his Diploma in Financial Planning through the Securities Institute.[/b]