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Netani Talei calls time on his professional rugby career

Netani Talei performs the Cibi ahead of Fiji's 2015 World Cup game against Australia
Image: Netani Talei had been sidelined for 17 months

Harlequins forward Netani Talei has announced his retirement from rugby following medical advice.

The 34-year-old Fijian has taken the decision having been sidelined through injury for almost a year and a half.

A statement by the back-rower on the Quins website, reads: "After 17 months out of the game spent rehabbing and draining fluid from my knee, it was advised by a consultant that retirement is the best option for me.

"I would like to thank Harlequins for their patience and show my gratitude to the medical staff who have continually monitored my rehab and training.

"Now that the final whistle in my career has blown - after representing my country in both 7s and 15s, participating in three Rugby World Cups, and playing over 200 senior club rugby games - another challenge in life arises for me in the health and fitness industry.

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"I have recently started fitness boot camps and one-to-one rugby skills fitness coaching and will now dedicate my time to helping people achieve their fitness and sporting goals, which I am really passionate and excited about.

"Rugby has made me the person I am today. I am forever grateful and will cherish every moment of it."

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Netani arrived in the UK 11 years ago and, before moving to the Stoop in January 2015, played for Doncaster Knights, Worcester Warriors, Edinburgh and Newport Gwent Dragons.

He represented Fiji at the World Cups of 2007, 2011 and 2015 and, during the first of those tournaments, was a member of the team which beat Wales 38-34.

He went on to earn 33 Test caps and Quins' director of rugby John Kingston added: "It is always such a shame when a player's career is taken away with injury and this is no different for Netani.

"He has had an incredibly frustrating 17 months but he has shown excellent character and determination during that period.

"I would like to thank him for the contribution he has made during his two and a half years with us and wish him all the best as he moves into the next chapter in his working life."

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