Taione Vea: Newcastle Falcons prop retires due to spinal injury
Newcastle prop Taione Vea has retired because of a spinal injury suffered in the Premiership season opener against Sale in September.
Tonga international Vea joined Falcons from London Welsh in May 2015, and made 22 appearances for the club.
The 26-year-old, who won six caps for his country, also played for Wasps and New Zealand-based North Harbour.
"I was left paralysed for five or six minutes on the field, where I couldn't feel my whole body," he said.
"That is enough for anybody in a lifetime, and the risk of that happening again if I was to return to playing is quite high.
"Having spoken to medical professionals and specialists, I have had to just accept the fact there is more to life than playing the game I love."