Wales
Wales fullback Lee Byrne forced to retire due to shoulder injury
ESPN Staff
April 23, 2015
Lee Byrne
Lee Byrne© Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

British & Irish Lion Lee Byrne has been forced to retire from rugby due to a shoulder injury.

The fullback moved to the Newport Gwent Dragons ahead of this season but has been forced to prematurely call time on his career. He will leave the game with 46 caps for Wales and one Lions Test cap from their tour of South Africa in 2009.

He started his club career with the Ospreys and then moved to Clermont Auvergne in 2011 where he played in the 2013 Heineken Cup final before switching to the Dragons last summer.

"This is a disappointing time for me but I'm looking forward to the future," Byrne said. "I'm not sure what the next chapter holds or even what I want to do, but I am planning on taking some down time over the next few weeks to look at my opportunities - whether that's in rugby or a new career.

"I would like to take this opportunity thank my wife, family, and friends for their support over the years. I'm frustrated to be in this position but I'm happy to have enjoyed my time in the game having fulfilled all my rugby ambitions at both club and international level. I have made terrific friends and have had incredible experiences.

"I would also like to thank Lyn Jones for making me the Dragons Captain. I'm glad I had the chance to play a small part in this season's success and it's great to know that I am leaving with the Region on a high, with such good things to come.

"Everyone at the Dragons has been very supportive with my care, the medical team and strength and conditioning team in particular. I'd like to thank them all for their support during the last few months and extend that thanks to everyone involved in the region."

Director of rugby, Lyn Jones added: "Lee is a fantastic rugby player and has been a great influence on many of our younger players. He will be missed both on and off the pitch, and I know that everyone here at the Newport Gwent Dragons wish him all the best in the future."

© ESPN Staff

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