News of Dominic Ryan’s enforced and premature retirement from rugby at the age of 28 due to concussion issues – revealed in The Irish Times last Saturday – has struck a particularly resonant chord in his former province of Leinster, for whom he played 113 times in an eight-year career before relocating to Leicester in the summer of 2017.

Ryan, who also won one cap for Ireland, played just five times for the Tigers, the last time being in a European Champions Cup game against Castres last January.

Jack Conan, a fellow Leinster backrower who had played alongside Ryan and known him for many years, said: “Firstly, it tough to see someone like Dippy have to retire at a young age. I would have spent a lot of years with him here. Before anything else, he is a fantastic bloke and was a great character around this place.” 

“If you went to everyone, from lads who barely knew him to lads who had played with him for years, they would all speak so highly of him. That’s a testament to the character he was. It’s upsetting to see someone like him having to step away from the game at such a young age in the manner that he did.” 

“Concussion is a hot topic, at the moment, within rugby circles. I know where we are in Leinster rugby, the medical staff the physios are so on the ball with regards to the HIA and the return to play protocols, sometimes concussions can go unnoticed, not through anyone’s fault. These things happen.”

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