Former Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens captain Ed Jenkins has been forced to retire from the game as he battles a shoulder injury.
Jenkins became the first, and only, Australian to notch 50 Sevens caps, when he ran out in Hong Kong last year.
The 31-year old will retire having amassed 547 points and 52 tournament appearances, over a glittering 10-year career that also includes a Commonwealth Games Silver medal from Delhi in 2010 as well as a Bronze from Glasgow four years later.
Jenkins captained Australia for six seasons, including at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro before stepping down from leadership duties ahead of the 2016/17 HSBC Sevens World Series in order to usher in the next generation.
Former Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens captain, Ed Jenkins said: “I’d like to say I came to the decision but I think it was the two surgeons that rammed it home to me that continuing to play wouldn’t be great for my health and wellbeing.
“I have loved Sevens and the aspect that you get to travel around the world with a small group of guys and get to know them really well. That’s something that I’ll miss, putting on that jersey and running out to a full house is something I’ll definitely miss.
“I would have loved to have played a few more years for my little girl Indiana, for her to be able to have those memories when she’s old from when Dad was a rugby player. So I’m upset that she won’t get to see that but when I look back at what I’ve achieved and what I’ve done, I can’t really be upset.
“Looking back on it, the Commonwealth Games, medalling at both of them in 2010 and 2014 was special. I was hoping to get the other medal that’s missing on home soil this year but that’s not meant to be.
“The Olympics was very special and I’ve had a few Cup wins along the way, which will always stand out as great memories for me,” Jenkins said.
Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens coach, Andy Friend said: “Ed has been a terrific servant of the game and has helped take Sevens to a new level in Australia.
“He’ll leave a lasting legacy, not only on the game but also with this current group of players. His mental toughness and professionalism are second to none. If our current group of young players mirror those traits, then our program will be in a very healthy position.
“It would’ve been fitting to give him a home swan song either in Sydney in a fortnight or on the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth games but unfortunately it’s not to be,” Friend said.
Jenkins will undergo shoulder surgery next month but won’t be entirely lost to Sevens, with the keen businessman to transition to life post-Rugby with a role within Rugby Australia’s administration.
Australia Sevens debut: Wellington, New Zealand 2008
Australia Sevens caps: 52
Australia Sevens points: 547 (109T, 1C)
Achievements: Silver Medal Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010, London Sevens Cup Winners 2010, Tokyo Sevens Cup Winners 2012, Bronze Medal Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014, Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016