Jack Dixon: Dragons centre retires from rugby at age 29

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Dragons centre Jack Dixon has retired from rugby at the age of 29.

Dixon has not played since he suffered a head injury against Leinster in November.

But his surprise decision to quit the sport after 13 years is not injury-related.

“Rugby and the Dragons has been a huge part of my life since I was 16 years old, but I feel it’s the right time to step away, move on and start the next chapter of my life,” he said.

Newbridge-born Dixon became the youngest player to play Welsh regional rugby when he came off the bench in an LV= Cup tie at Wasps in October 2011, aged just 16 years 313 days.

He broke the record set by team-mate Hallam Amos just 33 minutes earlier, when he had started the same game.

The following summer, Dixon became the youngest player to appear in the Junior World Championships when he was selected by Wales Under-20s at just 17 years old.

Later in the tournament he started in the 9-6 victory over New Zealand – the first defeat the Baby Blacks had suffered in four years at the competition.

He turned out for Ebbw Vale, Bedwas, Cross Keys and Pontypool but remained at Dragons throughout his career, making 172 appearances.

He was named in Wales’ extended squad prior to the 2015 Rugby World Cup but never won a senior cap.

“My career has nowhere near reached the heights I dreamt of, but I look back at my time with great pride as I can say, hand on heart, I gave 100% every time I stepped over the white line,” he said.

“Playing at Rodney Parade was always incredibly special to me.”

Dixon suffered a serious ankle injury in March 2023, also against Leinster. He returned to start this season, having signed a new two-year contract, but has started just once – against Munster in November.

Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan said: “You cannot overstate Jack’s contribution to this club, and I have huge admiration for what he has achieved.

“To play for one club as successfully as Jack has for such a length of time is an outstanding achievement.

“He has been a superb role model for our young aspiring players, someone who leads by example and sets the highest of standards. He finishes with an impressive legacy.”

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