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Concussion ends Ngatai's rugby season

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 22/09/2016

Charlie Ngatai of the Chiefs kicks the ball during the round one Super Rugby match against the Crusaders  on February 27, 2016 © Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images Charlie Ngatai of the Chiefs kicks the ball during the round one Super Rugby match against the Crusaders on February 27, 2016 Charlie Ngatai says long-term ambition is why he is hanging up the boots on a frustrating 2016 rugby season.

Ngatai confirmed he won't play NPC rugby for Taranaki this year because of his ongoing recovery from concussion suffered four months ago.

The one-Test midfield back will target a return in Super Rugby with the Chiefs next year after making what he said is "positive progress" of late.

The 26-year-old won All Blacks squad selection following an excellent campaign with the Chiefs this year but was unable to shake off the effects of a head knock suffered in May.

The Taranaki co-captain has participated in controlled training in recent weeks but after consulting provincial and New Zealand Rugby medical staff, decided it prudent to be unavailable for the remainder of the season.

"Although it has been frustrating not to be out there with the boys this season, I know the best thing for my recovery is to take the time to make sure I am 100 per cent right so that I can look forward to many more years on the rugby field," Ngatai said.

"I can't wait to get back out there next year."

Taranaki coach Colin Cooper praised Ngatai for playing a key off-field role in the team's campaign and is predicting a flourishing 2017 season.

"Charlie is a highly intelligent and determined rugby player who has a massive future ahead of him," he said.

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