Ben Afeaki quits rugby union due to concussion

The Chiefs' Ben Afeaki makes a break against the Highlanders, Highlanders v Chiefs, Super Rugby, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin, February 22, 2013 Getty Images

Ben Afeaki has retired from rugby, citing ongoing concussion-related issues.

The former All Blacks prop has not played since he suffered a concussion in February 2014, in the Chiefs' Super Rugby round one match against the Crusaders. The concussion, his third head knock in three years, left him struggling to concentrate as he battled ongoing problems including nausea, fogginess and dizziness.

Afeaki said the decision to stand down had been difficult.

"Now is the time that I have to make a decision that is best for my health long-term, and that is to retire from all rugby," Afeaki said.

Afeaki will continue to receive ongoing support from the Chiefs; New Zealand Rugby; his provincial union, North Harbour; and the New Zealand Players Association.

"Ben is an outstanding man who is highly respected and loved by all at the Chiefs," franchise coach Dave Rennie said. "His phenomenal work rate and physicality played a massive part in our success in 2012-13 and he will be sorely missed."

Afeaki played 36 matches for the Chiefs, and 58 games for North Harbour. He played one Test for the All Blacks, as a substitute against France in 2013.

The Ngati Awa descendent was also a member of the Maori All Blacks side that commemorated the team's centenary in 2010. He played eight matches with the Maori All Blacks, touring with the team to Europe in 2012 and North America in 2013.