Wasps, England and Lions prop Tim Payne retires due to neck injury
Wasps prop Tim Payne has announced that the neck injury he suffered last season has forced him to retire.
Last Updated: 04/07/13 4:12pm
The 34-year-old has heeded medical advice to end a stellar playing career that earned him three Premiership titles, two Heineken Cup crowns and one Powergen Cup success.
Payne was also capped 22 times by England and was a member of the British and Irish Lions squad that toured South Africa in 2009.
"I am gutted that I have been forced to call it a day," said Payne, who joined Wasps from Cardiff 10 years ago and made 266 first-team appearances for the Londoners.
"I was injured towards the end of the season and not recovering from it wasn't something I saw coming, but I accept that is the nature of the game.
"That doesn't however make it any less disappointing for me especially because I was still very much enjoying playing, training and the progress at Wasps.
"I feel I have been hugely fortunate in my career to play in some great teams with great players and winning titles with Wasps is something I have immense pride in alongside representing my country and the British and Irish Lions.
"I would like to think I will stay involved in the game and I want to thank all of the players and coaches I have worked with as well as my family, friends and supporters who have backed me throughout my career."
Wasps director of rugby Dai Young added: "Tim has been a superb servant to Wasps for over ten years and he has been an important player through good times and bad for this club.
"Though it is obviously disappointing for him that he has been forced to retire rather than decide himself when to stop playing, he can look back with great pride on his career.
"To play for one club over 250 times and to win domestic and European titles as well as playing for England and the Lions are all fantastic achievements and I speak for everyone when I say we wish him all the best in the next stage of his life."