DRAGONS prop Jack Cosgrove admits he is still coming to terms with being a former rugby player after being forced to retire because of a serious injury to his left eye in a training ground accident.

The 25-year-old loosehead headed to Rodney Parade on a two-year contract last summer.

He made his debut as a replacement against Connacht at Rodney Parade in October but suffered a serious injury in a session at the region’s Ystrad Mynach training base later that month.

Cosgrove received swift treatment but has now accepted the advice of specialists and retired from professional rugby.

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“This sort of injury has never happened before in rugby – it was a freak accident,” said the front row forward from Coventry.

“It’s very, very serious and the care of the nurse, doctors and consultants at University Hospital of Wales have been unbelievable.

“Unlike other injuries there is no rehab that I can do, I am just doing everything that the specialists tell me and hoping for a bit of luck.

“It’s been a tough six or seven weeks but it’s happened and I’ve got to move on. I was in a bit of denial and thought that I could get back to playing but times goes on and then you realise.

“It was tough and I needed to know where I stood, but it was still difficult to hear that opinion (from the consultant).

“I don’t know what the future holds yet and I am still coming to terms with it but it’s happened and now it’s about moving forward.

“I won’t let this hold me back and whatever I choose to do next I will throw myself into it 110 per cent.”

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Cosgrove has been helped by his parents Tara and Craig, younger brother Alex and partner Claudia.

“They have been with me every step of the way and have been unbelievable,” he said. “The lads at the Dragons have been great.

“Huw Taylor in particular has been a really big help, along with Dean Ryan, James Chapron and Luke Baldwin.”

The former Scotland Under-20s international became a Dragon after previously playing for the Warriors, Edinburgh and Bristol.

Cosgrove arrived with the intention of putting the pressure on senior looseheads Brok Harris and Ryan Bevington but has been denied the opportunity to play his part in the rebuilding under director of rugby Ryan.

“What Dean is building is coming along nicely and I think the Dragons are going in the right direction – they have definitely got the right man for this job and I wish them all the best,” he said.

“I was really excited about being at the Dragons, it was a new challenge and a fresh start after a couple of seasons where I was injured.

“After a long pre-season I was really enjoying it but after this accident my health has to come first.”

Cosgrove’s retirement and the absence of Bevington, who has undergone knee surgery, leaves Harris, former Wales international Aaron Jarvis and 21-year-old prospect Josh Reynolds as the options for the 1 jersey.

Stalwart Harris signed a short-term contract last summer that expires in the coming months but the 34-year-old South African is poised to sign an extension.